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Let Freedom Ring
by Ernie Johnson (authorernieroy@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: War Movies   User Review: ***1/2
They were warriors for their Cheyenne tribe, now they are warriors for the U.S. Army about to do battle on foreign soil in Operation Desert Storm.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



Okay, class, before we recess for
the summer, I'd like to know what
you'd like to be when you grow up.
JOHNNY BLACKWATER, a seven-year old Cheyenne Indian boy,
sits in the last seat on the right, in the front row of
seats, and waits for his turn to speak.
The teacher sits on the corner of her desk and looks at
Youíre the last one, Johnny, so
what do you want to be?
Johnny stands up beside his desk and looks at the teacher.
Some of my friends want to be
policemen, firemen, doctors, and
nurses, and those are people we
need too. My dad sits in a
wheelchair, because he fought, in
Vietnam, for the freedom we have,
and even though I canít give him
his leg back, or help him ever
walk again, I want to be a soldier
and fight for the same freedom
that he fought for. Let freedom
The teacher stands and rounds the corner of her desk and
takes a seat. The classroom gets deathly quiet, while she
sits there and looks out over her class.
Every one of you have your reasons
why you want to be what youíve
chosen to be when you grow up.
Keep yourselves free of
cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol,
and you can work hard to be just
that. Not every boy, who wants to
be a fireman, will end up being
one. Not every girl, who wants to
be a nurse, gets the chance to be


                       WENDY (cont'd)
one. Do good in school and you
have a better chance to be what
you want to be. Each journey
begins with a simple step. For
you kids, those first steps are
making it through school.
Johnny and his MOTHER sit at the kitchen table one morning
in 1995.
Yes, Johnny.
I want to enlist in the Army, Ma.
You whatÖ?
Shahala's hands shake uncontrollably as she sets her coffee
on the table.
Iíve decided that I want to be a
soldier and fight for our country.
Did your father talk you into
No, ma, he didn't, but I guess you
could say he was an inspiration to
You canít go, Johnny. Thereís
talk of a war about to happen with
Iraq, wherever that is.


I know that, Ma, and that's why I
want to join now, so I can be
ready for it, if and when it
      (Snapping back)
Ready for what, to die?
Hopefully I won't die, Ma. The
object is to kill the enemy.
Your dad knows all too well about
that, and he almost got himself
killed. I donít want to lose you,
Johnny. Youíre my only child.
Ma! There's not even a war going
on right now, so stop worrying.
If, or when, it comes down to a
war with Iraq, they might not even
send me, but I do want to be ready
to defend the freedom that we, and
our people fought for, years ago,
here in the U.S.A. This madman
Sadaam Hussein is noted for
helping to support terrorism, so
he does need to be stopped.
Youíre starting to talk just like
your father did, back when I was a
maiden in our village.
And is there anything wrong with
emulating a man who, from a
wheelchair, raised me to be the
kind of a son you both can be
proud of? I donít do drugs, and I
never have. I donít smoke, and I
never have. I donít want to kill,
just for the sake of taking
another personís life, ma, but
only to preserve the same freedom
that men like Chief Black Kettle,
Chief Dull Knife, and Chief Little
Wolf fought for. Though they
fought the white man, they still
fought for the freedom we


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
deserved. Now I might go and
fight alongside the white man, I
would fight for those same
Youíre eighteen, Johnny
Blackwater, and Iím sure your
father will stand by your decision
when he hears what youíve planned.
I was a proud mother, when you
played in the Little League. I
was also proud when you got
knocked around when playing
football in high school, and Iíll
be a proud mother when I see you
in uniform. Youíve never been a
mammaís boy, Johnny, because I
wouldnít let you be one, but I was
always there to support you no
matter what you did. Iíll support
you even now, but I donít have to
like it.
I never expected you to like my
decision, ma, but I didnít want
you to try and talk me out of it
Am I?
Joe Blackwater wheels himself out of the bedroom and into
the kitchen.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Okay, you two, whatís going on out
Good morning, father.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Morning, my son. Did I hear
right, that you were planning to
join the Army?
Yes, father, that is my desire.


                       FLYING EAGLE
Get me a coffee, my love, if you
would please.
While he waits for his coffee, Flying Eagle sits there and
looks at his son.
                       FLYING EAGLE (cont'd)
You know, my son, that killing
another human being is never a joy
you can live with. Yes, I had to
do it in Vietnam, but it wasnít by
choice. The Army does train you,
yes, but the very first time a
real bullet hits a tree, just
inches away from your head, thatís
when the realization hits you that
youíll either kill someone, or be
killed yourself, while trying.
From what little Iíve heard about
this place Iraq, father, is that
itís going to be a lot different
than the war you fought in
Vietnam, right?
The former platoon leader, and sergeant, reaches for his
coffee and takes a sip.
                       FLYING EAGLE
The war in Vietnam was a dirty
In what way?
                       FLYING EAGLE
When you walk through the jungles,
you have to be very alert. Not
only do you have the enemy
shooting at you, from trees,
hidden bunkers, and that, but you
also have trip wires that can do a
number of things. They can set
off grenades, to dropping logs
onto your head, and things I
shudder when I remember, because
they were even worse than that.
The Viet Cong used every dirty
trick in the book and more. They
even used kids; the kind youíd see
begging for a piece of candy or
chocolate, and those same kids


                       FLYING EAGLE (cont'd)
would set off grenades at our
Wow, father, I never knew that. I
wonder what kind of enemy the
Iraqis are?
                       FLYING EAGLE
The terrain will be altogether
different than what we had in
Vietnam, so speaking from a combat
soldierís perspective, my son,
watch out for two main things.
Johnny listens while his mother makes them breakfast.
What might they be, father?
                       FLYING EAGLE
Watch out for land mines and
roadside bombs.
Roadside bombs?
Wrinkles form on Johnny's lower forehead.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Yeah! They might be anything from
a simple push cart, or even a
disabled vehicle the enemy can use
to blow up a convoy as they pass
nearby. Never trust anything or
anyone, if you want to stay alive.
Shahala turns to face her two men.
Youíre talking to him like heís
going to be going into combat,
                       FLYING EAGLE
I just want to make sure heís
prepared for whatever the Army
wants him to do, my love. Being a
soldier will make a man out of
him, and being in a war will blow
his mind.


Iím ready for whatever the Army
wants me to do, father.
                       FLYING EAGLE
I know you are, my son. Your
mother worries that youíll come
home, like me, or maybe even
worse, and I canít say as I blame
her for feeling that way. If
you're called to go to war, no
matter where it is, Johnny, trust
only those in your squad or
platoon. The enemy knows how to
deceive even the smartest of
Iíll do that, my father.
Johnny turns back towards his mother, who by then is seated
across from him.
I knew that sooner or later this
day would come, Johnny, but Iíd
hoped I could handle it with
better grace.
Tears streak down the sides of her face as she tries to eat
a forkful of food.
Ma! I can shoot the eye out of a
rabbit at sixty yards. Iíve done
it many times when we needed food
for our table. I can shoot a
buck, and drop it, at well over
eighty yards, and even when itís
on the run. I can handle any
weapon the Army gives me to shoot
at the enemy.
Thatís just it, Johnny, rabbits
donít shoot back, and neither do
deer. Your enemy, however, will
be. They have weapons, just like
you, and just like you, they donít
want to die either. You wonít be
out in the hills of Colorado, but
rather in some God-forsaken
desert, thousands of miles from
anything you recognize. Youíll be


                       SHAHALA (cont'd)
on their turf.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Shahala, my dear mate and wife.
Our forefathers fought for
everything they got. Back then it
was the white man, or to be more
specific, the blue coats. Our
people fought with bows and
arrows, spears, and knives, until
our people learned the white manís
fire-sticks, called rifles. They
fought for the freedom their
forefathers fought for, long
before the white man invaded our
True, my husband, but those wars
no longer exist with our people.
The wars now are not the same. It
is not for our land that we fight
over an ocean away. This war is
not the Cheyenne war, nor the
Paiute, Arrapaho, Cherokee, or the
                       FLYING EAGLE
No, my dear Shahala, itís not, but
it is still a war for the same
freedoms Chiefs Black Kettle, Dull
Knife, and Little Wolf, of the
Cheyenne, and Gernonmo of the
Apache, and Sitting Bull of the
Souix fought for, many, many moons
I am outnumbered here, Johnny! If
this is what it will take, to make
you feel like a man, then Iím
going to have to stand behind you,
my son. I may not like it, but
Iíll be there for you.
More tears flow down the sides of Shahala's wet cheeks.
Three other braves from our tribe
are joining the Army with me.
Billy Whitecloud, the Chiefís son,
Ken Silverfox, and Sam Greyeagle
and I are all joining at the same


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
time. Hopefully we can all stay
together through boot camp and
What do their mothers think of
them joining?
They are mothers, just like you,
When are the four of you joining,
my son?
Chief Whitecloud, and the elders,
will have to hold an Arrow Renewal
ceremony next week. That ceremony
will last four days. All four
braves will need to bring two
arrows that will be blessed as
hunting arrows.
For what purpose?
We cannot leave the tribe as
braves, mother. We must become
warriors if we are to fight
alongside the white man. At the
end of the Arrow Renewal, we will
have to take part in the New Life
Lodge,or the Sun Dance, as the
Souix call it. Itís those visions
we get, during that dance, that
gives us our warrior name.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Thatís how I got Flying Eagle,
I remember that. That dance looks
so painful, my husband.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Itís the mark of a warrior. Every
brave has to go through it to get
their warrior name.


Then what happens?
The four braves will be sent out
to meet the warrior challenge. As
long as we make warrior, we will
be leaving the village and joining
the Army around the last week of
Knowing our tribal customs,
Johnny, what will the four of you
have to do?
Once our arrows have been blessed,
with only the two arrows, as well
as one knife per brave, we each
have to bring back to the village
one deer or buck, and we have only
two days in which to do it. Those
will be the animals they use
during the Offering Lodge after
our return.
Can the four of you use horses?
Yes we can, and we'll most likely
have to spend the night out there
unless we get lucky and get our
kill on the first day.
Just the four of you?
Shahala's eyebrows raise.
We are Cheyenne and weíve proven
ourselves as braves of the tribe.
This will force the four of us to
prove ourselves as warriors. What
we learn on this mission will
carry us when we join the Army.
It seems as though you know what
you're talking about, my son, so I
will wish you well.


I better get going, ma. Iím
meeting with the other braves this
morning, so we can prepare for the
New Life Lodge ceremony. Bye,
                       FLYING EAGLE
Take care, my son.
Shahala pours them both a coffee.
You couldíve tried, at the very
least, to talk him out of it a
little, now couldnít you?
                       FLYING EAGLE
I didnít listen to my mother, when
I enlisted in the Army during the
Vietnam War, my darling wife.
When are we going to meet in the
morning, Johnny?
Weíll meet outside the Tribal
Counsel office at five oíclock in
the morning. Chief Whitecloud
will make sure we have only what
weíre allowed to bring with us.
Right BILLY?
Thatís right. Then weíll be
allowed to go wherever we want to
go in order to get our four deer.
We already know where weíre
heading, so all we have to do is
follow our plans and make them
I donít know about you guys, but
this challenge seems like it will
be easier then what we might face
if we go to war with Iraq.


Yeah, but remember this, our enemy
for the next two days, if you want
to call them that, has the same
advantage as the enemy weíll be
facing if we do go to Iraq.
In what way?
The deer we are going after, well
they know their territory better
than we do. To put it in simple
language, we have to outsmart
them. When we go to Iraq, weíll
have to do the very same thing.
Youíre telling me. The main
difference is here, the enemy
doesnít shoot back at you. In
Iraq, they will be.
In that case, then, while weíre
out on our warrior challenge,
letís learn a big lesson. Know
that itís their territory, hunt
smarter, and beat them at their
own game. That way we all can
come back here as warriors.
I'm for that
Me too!
Count me in, guys.
Okay, guys, letís get to bed early
and meet at the Tribal Counsel by
five oíclock.
Johnny turns and heads back to his family's bungalow.


The alarm goes off at four oíclock and Johnny is quick to
get up and dressed. His mother is in the kitchen and has
breakfast ready for him when he gets there.
Do you have everything youíre
supposed to have, Johnny?
Thereís not a whole lot we can
bring, ma. The bedroll and empty
canteen are out in the barn with
Kuma. My bow, arrows, and knife
are by the door. Thatís all I can
Johnny takes a sip of his hot coffee she placed in front of
I fed Kuma when I got up, so all
you have to do is saddle him.
Thanks, ma. I wonder if the other
braves are as excited as I am.
They are Cheyenne, Johnny, just
like you, so Iím sure their
wanting to become a warrior means
a lot to them too.
Go light on the breakfast, ma.
Iíve got a long ride ahead of me.
I thought youíd want a light
breakfast, so I made only two
scrambled eggs. There you go.
Shahala places a plate in front of him.
At a quarter to five, as the sun starts to peek over the
eastern skies, Johnny Blackwater leaves the barn atop his
horse kuma. His bedroll and canteen are strapped behind the
saddle. The bow is in his left hand and two arrows are
tucked into the quiver over his back.


Okay Kuma! Letís go, boy!
Johnny steers the horse towards the center of the village.
The Tribal Counsel office is next door to the General Store.
As Johnny approaches, he sees Chief Whitecloud and the
other two members of the Counsel, along with both Billy and
Whereís Ken, Sam?
He should be along shortly. There
were lights on at his place when I
went by the bungalow.
                       CRAZY BEAR
Let me check your supplies, Johnny
Johnny climbs down from Kuma.
Have you guys been checked out
Tom Greywolf checked me out, and
my father checked out Sam. Weíre
all set, Johnny.
Billy looks up.
                       BILLY (cont'd)
Thereís Ken now.
Ken Dismounts his horse Jay Hawk.
Sorry Iím late, guys.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Let me look at your gear, Ken
With all four braves checked out for their journey, Chief
Whitecloud chooses to be spokesperson for the Tribal


                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
As the sun surely rises from the
east, my brothers, you four braves
face the challenge of your lives.
May the eyes of both the hawk and
eagle, the cunning of the sly fox,
and the strength of the mighty
buffalo, go with you these next
two suns, to overcome your foe. Go
now, and return by the rising of
the second sun.
The four braves quickly mount their steeds and ride off into
the northwest, towards the mountains and away from the
rising sun and the village.
By almost nine o'clock the four young braves continued
deeper and deeper into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Johnny leads the pack as they approach Blackbear's Cave.
      (In a loud voice)
There it is, guys. We're almost
As each brave pulls up to the same spot they can see the
entrance to the cave, as it resembles a large hole in a rock
formation in front of them.

They continue along the grassy makeshift path with Johnny
still leading the way. As he rides onto a small clearing,
Johnny dismounts and ties Kuma to a nearby tree.
We made it, guys. It hasn't
changed a bit since the last time
I was here.
The other braves dismount as they pull up alongside Kuma.
So this is the famous Blackbear's
After securing his horse he wastes no time in heading over
to the entrance to the cave.


                       KEN (cont'd)
It's a lot bigger than I expected,
for a bear's cave.
That cave goes back into the
mountain a ways, too. There's
enough room in that cave for a
family of bears.
Billy shoulders his bow.
Should we check it out and see if
we have some unwanted guests,
It would be a good idea to check
it out now, rather than to find
out later on, Sam.
Johnny pulls his knife from the sheath.
I'll go in there with you, but I'm
going in there preparted.
We'll all go.
Billy pulls out a knife as well.
I'll bring up the rear.
Sam grabs an arrow from it's quiver and sets it in the bow.
The four teen braves enter the darkness of the cave.
We need to bring a torch in here,
guys. It's too dark to see inside
the cave.
We haven't got anything to use,
but I can go outside and light a
stick, if that will help.
That would be a lot better than
trying to see in total darkness.
You go ahead, Ken, and we'll wait


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
for you right here.
Moments later the four braves enter the cave with a
makeshift torch. When they reached the end they could see
that it was not inhabited by any bears or other unwanted
The four of them exit the cave.
We'll sleep like logs in there,
We should. Listen! We don't have
to think about going out for deer
until about three this afternoon.
Why don't we all make some spears,
real quick like, using our knives?
This way we can run down to the
creek and snag us a few trout. We
can either clean them and have
them for lunch, or we can hang
them to dry and have them for
later, after the hunt.
Are there enough fish in that
There were plenty the last time I
was up here.
Then what are we waiting for?
Let's make those spears.
After making the spears, they head down a narrow
grass-filled path that goes around the cave and down to a
flatter stretch of ground.

Moments later the four braves arrive near the creek.
Spread out. There should be plenty
of fish, but you need to be quiet.
If you spook them they'll run and


Johnny takes off to the right, upstream, and each one of the
braves head out in a different section, keeping about fifty
yards distance between them. Each man grabs a vantage-point
behind a tree where they get a clear view into the creek.
Johnny watches as Sam is the first to spot a fish and
quickly lunges at it with his spear. A direct hit and the
trout is easily plucked from the water. Within minutes
another fish is snagged, this time by Billy, and brought
onto shore. Johnny is next to land a nice rainbow trout.
Billy lands his second and Ken finally gets his first.
Okay, guys, let's get these fish
back to camp. That's enough for
Johnny grabs his one trout.
The four of them sit there eating their fish off a stick.
How are we going to work the hunt,
When we head out, Sam, we'll head
out in twos. You and Billy head
out to the north and Ken and I
will go to the south. Look for any
signs of deer droppings, or hoof
prints. When you see signs that a
deerís been there, then the two of
you split up, but keep close
enough to be able to see each
other. The rest is up to you. I'm
taking my bow, quiver, and my
spear as well.
Why the spear?
If a deer is spotted, one of the
team can sneak around and spook
the animal towards the other man.
There are going to be times when
we might not be able to get a shot
off with the bow, so this way you
have an alternative with your


That makes sense. If we do kill a
deer, then what?
The two of you, or us, will drag
its carcass back to camp and gut
it, then hang it from a tree to
dry. If thereís still enough time
to go out again, you two can go
back out to get another.
When do we call it quits for the
No later than seven o'clock. At
that time we should definitely be
heading back here to camp. We
don't want you to try and find
this cave in the dark, Cheyenne or
You do know your stuff, don't you?
I've been up here hunting with a
gun about a dozen times and I know
the routine, so that's why I split
us up the way I did. Where we only
have two arrows each, don't waste
a shot. If you don't have a clear
shot to hit the deer, either spook
it towards your partner or wait
until itís been spooked closer to
you. Okay, then, let's put the
fire out and get going.
Ken and Johnny head south from the cave as soon as the fire
is extinguished.
The two men continue south past the creek where they fished
earlier. Ten minutes beyond the creek Johnny raises his hand
for Ken to stop. He bends down and spots hoof prints going
from east to west. By taking a closer look he can see that
one of them is deeper, an indication that one of the two


deer is possibly a buck. The other set of prints he figured
to be a doe. As he looks at Ken, he raises two fingers, and
then one finger, and makes the symbol of antlers on his
Ken nods and Johnny then motions for him to head west and to
the right nearer the creek. Johnny heads west from where he

Ken pulls an arrow from its quiver. The two men split up,
but they both move west at about a hundred feet apart.

Johnny, likewise, pulls an arrow from its quiver and places
it at the ready with his left hand. The two men travel
almost a mile from where they started, when Ken spots a
familiar brown form about a hundred yards ahead of him. He
can see that itís a doe, as there were no antlers on her

Johnny looks over at Ken, who motions he has a visual on a

Johnny moves further to the left and works his way silently
around it. He gets himself into position to where he can see
both a doe and buck. Where Ken is almost directly across
from him and the doe was closer to him than the buck, he
takes aim and waits for Ken to take the first shot.

Ken lines the doe in his sights and waits for her to turn.

Johnny locates himself almost in a straight line across from
his friend and takes careful aim at the twelve-point buck.
The two animals grazed undisturbed by the two braves who
have them boxed in. The doe finally moves a little to the
left and Ken pulls the string taut. He lets the arrow fly
and it hits its mark and the doe drops to the ground.

Johnny is already poised to shoot and lets his arrow fly at
the buck. The buck just starts to move towards its downed
mate when Johnny's arrow strikes it further back than he'd
planned. The buck falls to its knees and tries to get up and
get away. Johnny readies another arrow. The second arrow is
released and strikes the buck in the heart and it falls to
the ground beside its mate.
Nice shooting, Ken.
Johnny steps out from the shadows of the woods into the open
field and approaches the downed deer.


You didn't do too bad either, my
After you shot the doe I let my
arrow fly, but the buck moved and
I had to take a second shot to put
it down
Johnny removes the two bloody arrows from the buck.
How are we going to get these two
deer back to the cave?
One of us should go back to the
cave and bring down his horse.
We'll make a litter to drag them
I know the way back, if you'd like
me to go.
Ken removes the arrow from his kill and returns it to its
You go ahead. I'll gut these two
while you're gone.
Ken leaves the small meadow and heads back to the cave.
A while later both Johnny and Ken return to the campsite
with Kosar towing the litter with their kill alongside.
Johnny and Ken unload the litter from Kosar's back.
Take the saddle off Kosar and give
him some water. He earned it.
Ken starts to unhook the saddle.
Yeah, he did, didn't he.


Then we'll string the deer up on
one of these trees.
Johnny unties the string that held the litter onto Kosar's
back and hands one piece to Ken.
Tie your doe's legs together
tight, then we'll tie it up to one
of these branches.
Both braves work together to get their kills hung over the
I wonder how the other guys made
It's six o'clock now, so they
should be back here soon.
Let's gather up some wood while
weíre waiting. That way we can
have a fire going when they get
The two men leave the camp and start to gather some
Both Sam and Billy return to camp carrying one deer over
Billy's shoulders.
Billy drops his kill to the ground.
I see they got two.
It does look that way. I wonder if
they both got one or one of them
got them both.
Johnny enters the camp area with both arms loaded with dry
We both got one, but mine took two
arrows to drop.


This was the only one we saw the
whole time we were out there, and
Billy got the shot at it.
Then that means you'll have to get
yours tomorrow. We'll set out
early, right after breakfast. With
any luck we'll give you a shot at
Johnny shows Sam the fresh deer tracks.
You follow those tracks, Sam, and
the three of us will spread out
and hopefully surround the deer
and send it towards you. From here
on out there will be no more
talking or we could lose our prey.
Sam and the others agree. Billy heads across the creek and
tries to work his way around the deer from the right. Johnny
and Ken went to Sam's left.

The bushes become thick and Sam loses the tracks of the deer
he was hunting and has to maneuver around the heavy thicket.
By the time he reaches the other side there are no signs of
the deer anywhere. He continues on in the same direction
with an arrow at the ready and a spear in his right hand.

He happens upon a small clearing and as he steps out into
it, from the east, a huge bear enters it from the west.
Sam drops the spear by his side and raises the bow, aiming
at the bear. The bear sees him at the same moment Sam sees
him and the bear has no intention on backing down from the
person in front of him. He runs on all fours halfway across
the clearing and stands on his back feet.
Sam takes a deep breath and lets the arrow fly. He watches
as the arrow hit its mark and he pulls his second arrow from
its quiver. He gets it ready as the bear falls on all fours
and continues on towards him. Fifteen feet away the bear
once again stands on its back legs and lets out a deep


Sam's friends hear the commotion and they converge at the
opposite side of the clearing. Johnny raises his hand, as a
signal that they can do nothing to help their friend.
For the second time the bear drops onto all fours as Sam
quickly picks up his spear and heaves the bow to one side. A
quick look behind him and Sam spots a tree less than three
feet away. He backs up to the tree quickly, as the bear
prepares to make a final lunge. With only seconds to make a
decision, Sam planted the end of the pole against the base
of the tree and waits for the bear to lunge forward.
As the bear extends it's body, to lunge at him, Sam lifts
the blade end of the spear to somewhere near the bear's
heart and allows the force of the attack, as well as the
bear's weight, to work against it. The blade hit its mark
and slices completely through the bear's upper torso and
protrudes out the back. Sam jumps clear of the bear to
avoid being struck by one of its claws.
We've got to help him, Johnny.
I agree! Let's go!
All three braves run across the open field towards their
friend. When they get to the other side they can see the
bear, on the ground, with the spear sticking out its back,
and it appears to be dead.
I'm over here, trying to find my
Sam lies in the grass in a nervous heap. He sits up in the
brush, to the right of the bear.
Is it dead?
With a hole in him like that, I
sure hope he's dead. What made you
take that route, Sam?
Two good clean shots to his heart
didn't stop him, so what choice
did I have. It was either him or


You proved yourself to be a true
warrior. I don't think the gods
will complain. You've earned their
Now that I have this huge thing,
what's next?
You'll have to gut it, Sam, and
then the only way we can get it
back to the reservation is to make
a litter to carry him back. We'll
wait here with your kill and start
to gut him, while you get Night
Cloud and two poles.
I'll go with him and carry the
poles, Johnny.
Billy and I will get the bear
ready for you, Sam. Nice job.
Johnny starts to gut the bear while Billy unties the three
remaining spears.
Sam and ken head back to the campground.
The four braves approach the creek bed with Sam toting a
litter on his horse's back.
Sam stops and waits while the other three dismount.
We need to take some of the weight
off the litter as we cross the
stream. Ken! You hold our horses
while Billy and I help Sam get
The two young braves take one side of the litter.


Okay, Sam, Go across, but take it
Moments later the litter is dragged slowly across the creek
bed until they get to the other side. Ken follows behind
with the three other horses. Once they get to the other
side, the two young men lift the litter while Sam moves
Night Cloud from under it.
You guys made that look easy.
It was nothing more than simple common sense, Ken. We took
the pressure off the horse's back by grabbing the two poles
up front and as far back as we could reach, so that they
wonít break. Let's give our horses a chance to get some
water, and then we'll head back to the village
Almost an hour and a half later, with the horses refreshed
and rested, the four braves approach the outskirts of the
As they near their village they are spotted by one of the
elders of the tribe. He grabs a buffalo horn from his waist
and lets it blow four times, once for each brave, a signal
to the Tribal Counsel that the braves have returned.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Shahala! We need to get to the
Tribal Counsel. Johnny and his
friends have returned.
Flying Eagle wheels himself near the door to their bungalow.
I wonder if Johnny got his deer.
Shahala walks up behind her husband.
                       FLYING EAGLE
I'm sure he got his kill, my love.
I trained him well, even from this
damned wheelchair.
Then I wonder how the others made


                       FLYING EAGLE
If they are back here this early,
then it's my guess they all did
well. Let's get over there.
By the time Flying Eagle and Shahala reach the Tribal
Counsel, all the other parents, along with the elders of the
tribe and other tribes-people are already assembled outside
the counsel chambers. Before the braves are allowed to enter
the village they must wait for the sound of the horn a
second time, a signal for them to be met by the Tribal
Counsel and other warriors from their village.
Boy, they are taking a long time
to blow that horn for us.
They have to make sure all our
families, and all the warriors are
there from the tribe, Sam. They
are as anxious as we are. You
might even get your choice of the
squaw maidens, because a bear is
harder to kill, and that demands
respect from the elders. We've
just got to be patient. Your bear
kill will be the talk of the tribe
at Counsel Fire tonight,
You mean I can choose any maiden I
desire, to be my mate?
Until you dropped that bear, Sam,
I thought it was going to be my
reward, because I brought back a
twelve point buck. Now Iím sure
itíll be your reward, as well as
becoming a warrior along with the
rest of us.
I know who Sam wants, Johnny.


It wouldn't be your sister,
Kohana, now would it?
Sam is all she ever talks about,
so I'm pretty sure he'll pick her.
Will she be there when we ride in,
Every maiden in our tribe, from
sixteen to twenty-four, will be in
attendance when we ride into the
village. They will be lined up on
both sides of the main street as
we come through. Theyíll all be
dressed in their finest clothes,
for they know one brave will be
allowed to choose this night.
The Medicineman, Crazy Bear, finally brings the horn to his
lips and lets it blow loud.
That's our signal.
Johnny allows Sam, on Night Cloud, to lead the procession
into the village, with the bear dragging on its litter.
Johnny follows with the buck across Kuma's back, followed by
Billy, with his doe across the back of Silver, and Kenís
across the back of Kosar.
Every maiden in the tribe dons their finest clothing. Each
one is a virgin and they seek to win the affection of only
one of the four who return from the hunt unscathed.
A path is made with all the maidens lined up on both sides,
and it allows the braves to enter and look at the bevy of
beautiful maidens that only one warrior will get a chance to
choose from. Johnny passes several of the warriors who raise
their bows as a sign of appreciation of their kill. As Sam
passes, with the bear behind him, mild cheers became loud
with their approval by those same warriors. As the chief's
son and Ken pass, the shouts calm back down. By then the
tribe is into the exuberance of the return of the hunting


Chief Whitecloud stands to face his braves, as they
dismount. When the four young men approach him, silence
reigns inside the village. The braves stand there as the
chief inspects their kill, along with the other elders of
the Counsel.
After a brief consultation with the other elders, the chief
returns to his seat and sits down.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Four braves left the village of
the Cheyenne, less than two suns
ago, on a hunt for one deer from
each man. The Tribal Counsel and I
have inspected the kills by these
four braves. It is the decision of
this counsel that these four young
braves have earned the right to be
called warriors of our tribe and
of the Cheyenne. Sam Greyeagle,
Johnny Blackwater, Ken Silverfox,
and Billy Whitecloud. Not all our
new warriors killed a deer, as we
can all see. Sam Greyeagle used
all his weapons to kill a black
bear that we estimate to be around
eight hundred pounds. Though it is
not a deer, it is by far a more
dangerous and reckless foe. It is
the decision of this Counsel that
Sam Greyeagle be granted his
choice of maiden at Counsel Fire
on the moon of the fourth sun. The
maidens have made themselves
presentable for your viewing, Sam
Greyeagle. If you'll turn around
you may see them.
Sam and the other three braves, turn around. Kohana
Whitecloud is in the middle of the eleven attractive
Cheyenne maidens, and he locks eyes with her from where he
stands. Out of respect for the other maidens, however, he
looks at each one. After one more glance, the four young
braves turns back towards the chief.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
We will honor you four, this night
at Tribal Counsel Fire. You four
will encompass the pole of the New
Life Lodge until the moon is full
or youíve had visions that
proclaim which animal adopts your
spirit and bestows upon you
special powers. At the end of the


                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD (cont'd)
New Lodge, we will once again hold
Tribal Counsel, at which time you,
Sam Greyeagle, shall be the first
to choose a mate from those you
see here tonight. Johnny
Blackwater, youíll have second
choice from the remaining maidens
because of your kill. Ken
Silverfox and Billy Whitecloud,
you two may also choose a mate
that night, but the maiden you
choose is allowed to deny your
Did you see the buck our son got,
Shahala grabs his wheelchair and turns it around
                       FLYING EAGLE
Yes, my lovely woman, I did. Our
son is no longer a boy, but is now
a warrior. He is a man
He takes after his father well
Johnny approaches his parents at the edge of the Counsel
Fire, holding the reins of Kuma.
                       FLYING EAGLE
That's right! I got a buck on my
warrior challenge. You've done
well, my son, and now you are a
warrior, not only to the tribe as
a whole, but in our house as well.
How was the hunt?
Using arrows is harder than aiming
a shotgun and pulling a trigger,
father. The strategy we use to
find them is the same, but getting
the kill is a lot harder.
                       FLYING EAGLE
When did you get your kill?
Around five o'clock last night.
Ken and I got our kills at the
same time. Both deer were


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
together, and I had to wait to see
which animal he was going to shoot
before I took my shot. It took a
second arrow, because the deer
moved towards its mate when Ken
shot the doe.
                       FLYING EAGLE
Let's get home, son. You've got to
get painted up for tonight's
Night falls on the reservation and the Council Fires of the
Cheyenne burn bright. The four brave/warriors approach the
elders, for it's time for the New Life Lodge ceremony to
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
This night, my brothers, youíve
become warriors amongst your
people. Part of that ritual is
the ceremony of the New Life
Lodge. The four of you have
adorned your faces with paint, not
the paint of war, but rather the
paint of the warrior. Itís now
time for the spirits of our gods
to descend upon you and enlighten
you with a vision. That vision
will tell you what animal spirit
strengthens you. Go now and let
our medicineman prepare you for
the pole.
The four warriors turn around and head to the center of the
council fire.
Is this what I think it is,
Iíve only seen this once, Ken, but
weíll have skewers put under our
chests and weíll dance around the
pole for hours. Itís a ritual
that helps us get our warrior


All eyes in the village are on the four warriors as they
approach the pole where the Medicineman readies the skewers
to be put on each warrior.
Once the last skewer is placed on Sam Greyeagle, the
Medicineman steps back and the tribal drums start beating.
As if on cue, each warrior starts dancing around the pole.
As the Tribal Fire burns down, more wood is added to keep
the fire burning during the ceremony of the warrior.
Warriors and elders alike, watch as the newest warriors
continue to dance into the early hours of the next morning.
Sam Greyeagle is the first warrior to have a vision, as his
body slumps to the ground. The other warriors dance in
place and watch, while the medicineman releases Sam from his
The villagers watch as one by one each warrior gets their
vision and by one oíclock in the morning Johnny is the last
warrior to have his.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Go now, my brothers, and let your
strength renew. In three moons we
will assemble in Tribal Fire and
fill our bellies with your kills.
Sam Greyeagle, and Johnny
Blackwater, you two shall then
choose your mates. You four are
now warriors of the Cheyenne.
To the far right of the Council Fires another fire burns
bright, as the maidens continue to cook and prepare the
feast for the Council Fire. Each maiden is dressed in their
traditional maiden garb, their hair let down to its fullest
length. As Johnny crosses the ceremonial Council grounds he
notices Nakonay, as she tends to one of the three deer being
cooked. She stands five-feet-six with a beautiful face and
figure. He frees himself from his gaze upon her to continue
on to his friends who wait for him by Tribal Council
You were almost late, Johnny.


I got caught up talking with my
father, Billy. Are you ready for
tonight, Sam?
Are you kidding? Iím on a cloud.
Tonight Kohana will know of my
love for her.
Don't you think she knows that
She might, but tonight sheíll have
no doubts. Who are you choosing?
I plan to choose Nakonay
Strongheart for my mate. She is
Lightning Lizard's daughter. Do
you have any idea when the wedding
will be planned for the two of us?
I can answer that one, Johnny.
When we come back from boot camp
weíll be here for about a week
before we have to go to our new
units somewhere. During that week
you two will wed. Because of us
going into the service your
bungalows will be prepared by the
elders and warriors who remain on
the reservation. Youíll not be
left without a tee-pee for your
mates. That's not the Cheyenne
What about you and Ken? If you
two choose a mate, after the
ceremony, wonít you guys marry at
the same time?
Yes, if we choose a mate and she
accepts our choice. Thatís the
main thing. With you and Sam, the
maidens you choose have to accept
your choice. With Ken and I, they
can refuse us, if they desire to


                       BILLY (cont'd)
do so.
In that case, then, we now can sit
back and watch the celebration.
This night is for us.
As the four young braves take their places alongside the
elders of the tribe, warriors, squaws, braves, and the
entire village comes out to the Tribal Council. As the sun
sets lower in the west behind them, the maidens finish their
cooking duties for the feast. Dancers dance around the
Council Fire to the beat of Cheyenne drums. The mood around
the fire becomes festive.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Brothers and sisters of the
Cheyenne, it is with honor and
pride we assemble around the
Council Fire of our peoples this
night. Four of our braves passed
the test to become warriors. These
same four young braves became
warriors when they passed the New
Life Lodge. These same warriors
will be leaving our village to be
warriors for the white man. This
night we appease our gods with
four kills, one by each former
brave. Three of those kills were
venison from which the Cheyenne
know its taste well. The bear,
however, only a few Cheyenne have
tasted its meat. The four young
warriors will now head to the
fires and get their meal, followed
by the squaws, elders, and then
the warriors and braves. The
maidens shall eat last. Go now, my
brothers and sisters, and eat well
this night.
That's our cue to go and eat.
I'm right behind you, Sam.
Johnny follows his friend, giving him the respect of going


Wait for us, guys.
The venison and bear are all cooked and carved for the four
braves when they arrive by the fire. Each brave takes a
piece of the fresh meat, as well as vegetables that are also
prepared and they then go and find a place where they can
sit and enjoy it, but also where they can also see the
I can't take my eyes off her,
Who, Kohana?
I've had my eyes on her for almost
six years now. I am sure she has
something for me, too, but her
father is the chief.
And that should stop you?
Not after tonight. I have my
choice of maidens, and sheís the
one I choose.
I get to pick one after you do,
Sam. That's Nakonay, on the right
end of the fire.
Good choice. I think sheís been
eyeing you too
As the four braves finish their meal the maidens then take
their meat and join the braves off to the side. Sam nudges
Johnny and whispers in his ear.
I see they are all giving us our
final view before the ceremony.
They look great, all of them
The entire Cheyenne village then assembles and seats them
selves around the Counsel Fire. Old and young alike await
Chief Whitecloud's words. Silence prevails except for the
crackling sounds coming from the Counsel Fire. Medicineman


Crazy Bear awaits the beating of the tribal drums. When
Chief Whitecloud raises his hand the drums sound and come
alive inside the village, while Crazy Bear does the dance of
the warrior and chants to their gods.
When the dance ends, Chief Whitecloud once again stands
before his people.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
The gods of our ancestors are
pleased with the Cheyenne this
night. Beside me are four
warriors. Sam Greyeagle, Johnny
Blackwater, Ken Silverfox, and
Billy Whitecloud, my own son.
These four braves went on a
hunting party and each one had to
bring back a deer with only two
arrows and a knife. Three of these
braves did just that. One,
however, went above and beyond
getting a deer when he killed a
bear that attacked him. Killing a
deer, with such weapons, is a sign
of a seasoned warrior. Sam
Greyeagle! Stand before your chief
and identify your warrior name.
My name, oh wise chief, is Bear
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
You have chosen your warrior name
well, Sam Greyeagle. As is the
custom of the Cheyenne, where you
were the strongest brave in that
hunting party, you are first to
choose a mate from the maidens who
stand behind you. When you have
chosen your mate, take her hand
and present her to me and to the
rest of the tribe. She will be
known as your mate and not to be
touched by another from the tribe.
Sam starts at one end and one by one he looks at each of
them. When he looked at all eleven, he returns to Kohana,
grabs her hand and leads her to the chief


This is the maiden I have chosen,
oh wise Chief, to be my mate
Chief Whitecloud almost cries as he sees his daughter being
led towards him.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
You've made a good choice, Bear
Claw. She is yours. Take her now
and return to your friends. I now
call Brave Johnny Blackwater to
come and stand before me.
Johnny leaves his friends and walks towards him and the
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
It is also the Cheyenne way that
any brave who kills a buck, in the
hunt, also gets a chance to choose
his warrior name and mate. What is
the warrior name you have chosen,
Johnny Blackwater?
I choose Wild Spirit, my great
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
You will now be known as Wild
Spirit. Go now and pick your mate
from the maidens behind you.
Johnny started at one end and looked at each maiden. Each
young lady smiles as he passes her. Nakonay was the last of
the remaining ten maidens and waits her turn to be looked
over. As Johnny reaches her, he gives her a smile and a wink
before he turned back towards the chief. As he turns he
grabs Nakonay's hand and leads her before the elders.
This is the maiden Wild Spirit
chooses for a mate, Nakonay.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Wild Spirit, you have chosen a
mate well. Return to your friends
with Nakonay.
The chief then waits until the two are together with their


                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
The third brave to become a
warrior is Ken Silverfox. Come and
face your Chief and the elders.
Ken wastes no time in getting over to Chief Whitecloud.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
What name have you chosen warrior?
Silent Thunder, Oh great warrior
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Until the moons no longer shine on
this warrior, he shall be known,
by the Cheyenne, as Silent
Thunder. Return, Silent Thunder,
to your friends.
Chief Whitecloud waits.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD (Cont'd)
Our last brave, to advance to
warrior, is of my own blood. Billy
Whitecloud, present yourself to
your Chief and elders.
Billy heads over to his father and waits in front of him.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
What name have you chosen, my son
Billy Whitecloud?
I have chosen Rider of the Clouds,
my chief and great mighty warrior.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
This warrior shall always be known
as Rider of the Clouds. Return to
your friends.
The chief once more waited for the last warrior to return to
his friends. He then looks out into the tribe of young and
old Cheyenne alike.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
My Cheyenne brothers and sisters,
we no longer fight the white man
like we once did, but we do not
want to let our Cheyenne heritage
die either. This Tribal Counsel is


                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD (cont'd)
just another way to keep that
heritage alive and well. The four
warriors will keep the names
they've chosen, when they are
amongst the Cheyenne or other
Native American Indian. The two
maidens who were chosen as mates
will remain true to their warrior
mates. This night we appeased our
gods to allow our warriors to have
their blessing as they join in
beside the white man, in the white
man's Army. We ask, even now, as
true Cheyenne, that they be
allowed to return to us unharmed,
so that they may be a blessing to
their mates and to the families
they've yet to raise. Go now, my
brothers and sisters, to your
tee-pees and may our gods go with
Can we kiss our mates now, Johnny?
Let someone try and stop us, Sam.
Johnny bends down to kiss Nakonay.
Be still my warrior mate, for
yours shall be my very first kiss.
The five-foot four Nakonay, with hair that stretches
half-way down her back, parts her lips for the kiss.
I wonder if we can go and get
ourselves one of the maidens, and
join them, Billy.
Ken steps back and away from the four lovebirds.
We can try, Ken. Let's go!
Billy and Ken head to where the remaining maidens stand


Wow, Nakonay, if that was your
first kiss, then this warrior is
in for a wonderful life.
Johnny straightens up
Then I kissed you okay, Wild
Let's just say you made me very
happy. I've only kissed twice
before, Nakonay, but never did I
feel the way I did when you kissed
me just now.
You are my mate, so I want you to
be happy with the decision you
made to choose me. If it is your
desire, Wild Spirit, Iím willing
to share your blanket this night.
Nakonay speaks close to his ear, so others cannot hear her.
You mean sleep beside me, Nakonay?
Isn't that why you chose me, to
share your wigwam?
Well yes, but we aren't wed yet
Do you not want Nakonay?
I do, my lovely mate, and that's
why I chose you. You are so
beautiful, even in the moonlight,
so how could I not want you?
I am glad you chose me, Wild
Spirit. Iíll make you a good


Then Iíd love for you to share my
blanket, Nakonay. Guys! Iíll see
you tomorrow.
Johnny and Nakonay head away from their friends.
Johnny and Nakonay head to Johnny's parents' bungalow and
his parents are waiting for them when they go inside
Welcome, Nakonay. Johnny made a
good choice. I am Shahala,
Johnny's mother, and this is
Flying Eagle, his father.
It's really nice to meet you
folks. I've seen Wild Spirit many
times and Iíd hoped that someday
he would choose me. I don't
normally have that kind of luck.
When he reached for my hand
tonight, I almost cried because I
was so happy.
                       FLYING EAGLE
I knew my son would choose someone
who was not only beautiful, but
smart as well. He did choose well,
from what I can see. Nice meeting
you, Nakonay. Your room has been
readied, my son.
Why did you not tell me of this
custom, father?
                       FLYING EAGLE
No warrior who raises a son, tells
him about this one Cheyenne
custom. That thought, when you
went out on the hunt, would
greatly diminish your chances to
make your kill. If you knew what
you know now, would you have
hunted the same way you did then?


My mind would have been on Nakonay
and maybe I might have missed my
shot, so I'd say no
Nakonay knew, didn't you dear?
Yes I did, Shahala. My mother told
me about three summers ago, and
she reminds me with every brave
hunt. I do not normally dress like
this, but when Johnny was in on
the hunt, I wanted to wear my very
best dress for him.
                       FLYING EAGLE
You two go on, and Wild Spirit,
you treat your squaw right.
I will, my father, and thanks.
Johnny stands up and reaches for Nakonay's hand. As she
stands up, she grabs his and the two of them go into
Johnny's room.
Nakonay rubs her warm sensuous body across the front of his
as the door closes behind them.
Are you nervous, Johnny?
Johnny looks down at her face.
Iím not nervous, Nakonay. I just
donít want to displease you.
By choosing me, to be your mate,
is all the pleasure I need to be
happy. I just want to be held by
you and have your love, my warrior
Johnny lays down on the bed and extends his arms to her.
Come lay beside me.


Nakonay goes to the opposite side of the bed, unties her
dress and lets it drop to the floor. Johnny watches in
amazement at her natural beauty. Her skin is spotless. She
then looks into his eyes.
Do I please you, Wild Spirit?
Johnny is breathless as he can't help but stare at the woman
he'd earlier chosen to be his mate. Her body seems to gleam
in the dim candle-light.
You are so beautiful, Nakonay.
Please come and join me under my
blanket. Yes you please me.
Nakonay slides her naked body under the blanket and up
against his bare skin
                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
I am so happy I don't know what to
That is good. I saved my body for
you, Wild Spirit, and you alone.
Nakonay slides her naked body even closer to him
                       NAKONAY (cont'd)
I was chosen once before, but it
was not by one who was guaranteed
his choice. I refused, because I
was saving myself for the right
time, and that time came tonight
when you reached out for my hand.
How did you know I'd pick you?
Johnny places his arm around her and pulls her warm body
close to him.
I've seen how youíve looked at me,
in the village. You never looked
at me with lust in your eyes,
Johnny. Yes, Iím naked beside you,
and I don't know what your
intentions are, but I chose to be
here because I've loved you for a
long time. No woman tells this to
a man unless she wants to mate


                       NAKONAY (cont'd)
with him, not even a Cheyenne.
Then why did you undress and lay
beside me naked?
You will be leaving me soon. Your
body will not be able to keep
Nakonay warm under my blanket when
youíre gone. I need something to
make me feel like Iím yours.
Johnny kisses her lips. His hand caresses her naked body and
made her desire for him even stronger; their bodies entwined
like vines of grapes and passion builds in their groins. She
lets her hand slide down to gently touch him and he let out
a satisfying groan and she is pleased. Johnny returns the
favor and she let out a moan that excites them both even
Not tonight, my love. What we have
is so beautiful that I don't want
to ruin it by taking you. You are
mine, and I am yours.
Johnny releases his embrace to lay flat on his back
Are you not pleased with me, Wild
I am more than pleased. If I were
to take you now, Nakonay, you
might be with child while Iím
away. I want to be here, to see
our papoose when they arrive. Yes,
I could not want you more than I
do right now, but I can be happy,
tonight, laying here beside you
and enjoying you close to me.
You are a wise man, Wild Spirit.
Though you chose me, I accepted
the right man to be my mate. No, I
did not want you to take me
tonight, but I wouldíve let you
have me if you so desired me. Iíll
lay as close to you as you wish


                       NAKONAY (cont'd)
and be very happy inside.
It's not that I don't want you,
Nakonay, for any warrior would
want their mate to be as beautiful
as you. I need time to know you,
to love you, and to be your
warrior. This may only take a day
or two, or maybe even longer, but
know that I do want you.
Nakonay cuddles as close to Johnny as she can get.
Johnny and Nakonay stand at the entrance to her parent's
Have you chosen a name for me yet,
Wild Spirit?
No, but, as I look upon your
beautiful face, I know what it
shall be.
What name have you chosen, that I
may carry it with me forever?
I've chosen White Dove, for in you
I see the grace and gentleness of
such a quiet bird. The white
reflects your spirit and one of
purity and love.
Once again, wild spirit, you've
made a wise choice. I will take
pride in being called White Dove.
Iím sure my mother is anxious for
my return.
With a daughter as lovely as you,
I wouldnít be surprised.


As Nakonay enters her parent's home, her MOTHER is the first
to greet her daughter.
                       SHADOW HAWK
I see that Wild Spirit took good
care of my Nakonay. How are you my
SHADOW HAWK kisses her daughter on the cheek while giving
her a gentle hug.
Iím fine, mother. Hi, FATHER. I'd
like you both to meet my mate,
Wild Spirit, for it is this
warrior who chose me to be his
                       LONE WOLF
We were at the Counsel Fire last
night, when he did so, my
daughter. Itís nice to meet you,
Wild Spirit.
The same here, Lone Wolf. I've
heard stories from my father,
Flying Eagle, about your hunting
                       LONE WOLF
He should know, son, for he was
with us on a lot of them back
then, when we were both braves and
then warriors.
                       SHADOW HAWK
Wild Spirit! Have you chosen a
name for Nakonay?
Shadow Hawk sits down at the table beside her husband.
Yes, Shadow Hawk, I have. I've
chosen White Dove, a name that
reflects gentleness and purity,
that makes Nakonay who she is.
                       LONE WOLF
Please, Wild Spirit, Have a seat.
Lone Wolf waits for him to sit at the other end of the table
across from him. Nakonay stands alongside him


                       LONE WOLF (cont'd)
You may be seated, Nakonay. I will
talk and you will listen.
Yes, father.
                       LONE WOLF
Wild Spirit! You said, moments
ago, that Nakonay has a pure
spirit, am I right?
Yes I did, and yes she does.
                       LONE WOLF
Does that mean you did not take
Nakonay last night, as most braves
do when they become a warrior and
choose a mate?
As is the custom of our people,
Nakonay responded as a true maiden
who was chosen as a mate. Do not
think I did not want Nakonay, for
I did. She presented herself to
me, in all her beauty, but I chose
to wait until we knew each other
better. Nakonay, your daughter, is
more beautiful than I ever
imagined she'd be. I chose her,
yes, however it was not for her
outward beauty, and she has that,
but for the inward beauty I saw in
her personality. Her spirit is
gentle, like that of a morning
dove. Her body is pure, for I did
not take that purity from her.
When Nakonay and Wild Spirit take
each other it will be because we
want to, not because she let
herself be taken because she was
chosen. She slept by my side, as
any mate would, the warmth of her
flesh was pressed next to my own,
but I took her not.
                       LONE WOLF
You surprise me, Wild Spirit, but
I am not now upset. Shadow Hawk
taught her the ways of the
Cheyenne maiden, so I wanted to be
sure you were treated as the


                       LONE WOLF (cont'd)
warrior you are.
Any warrior would love to have
been in my moccasins when I chose
your daughter Nakonay as my mate.
She needs not to be dishonored by
her family, nor by me.
                       LONE WOLF
Nakonay! Does this warrior speak
with forked tongue?
No, my father, he does not. My
clothes were on the floor beside
him as I lay next to him under his
A slight flush appears on Nakonay's face.
                       LONE WOLF
Then you, Wild Spirit, are
welcomed into the wigwam of Lone
Wolf and Shadow Hawk. You, son,
show discipline few warriors
Thank you, Lone Wolf. Coming from
you, I take that as an honor.
Nakonay will be my mate and sheíll
also bear our papoose.
                       LONE WOLF
You have our blessings Wild
Thank you, father! He is a
wonderful warrior and I do love
                       LONE WOLF
Go now and enjoy your youth.


Can we go and look for a place
where we can build our wigwam?
That sounds so good, and yes we
can do that.
Johnny and Nakonay look through the outskirts of the village
to build their home while both Billy and Ken take their
mates to meet their future in-laws, a custom that goes along
with the mating ceremony from the night before.
Nakonay points at a piece of land at the outer edge of the
We could build a place here,
This looks like a good place, my
mate. The land is fertile and we
can plant next spring. We will
grow our own vegetables and raise
our papoose to enjoy the land the
gods gave us. This will be where
we have our wigwam, our home.
That sounds so good, Wild Spirit.
Kiss me, Johnny.
Nakonay tilts her head to meet his lips.

Johnny lowers his head until their lips meet.
If you share my blanket this
night, White Dove, I may not be
able to resist you.
Tonight I would not want you to,
either. If I share your blanket,
this night, Iíll want you as well,
and yes I want to share your


Let's go to the elders and reserve
this spot for our wigwam.
My grandfather is the MEDICINEMAN,
as you know, and Iím sure heíll
speak for us.
Then let's go!
By Tuesday it is the last day Johnny and nakonay would spend
together, for Johnny and his friends are to join the Army
the following morning.
Nakonay lay naked beside Johnny, as she had every night
since Tribal Council.
White Dove, my lovely mate, for
weeks now you have shared not only
my blanket, but you've also shared
my heart. I could love no other
maiden the way I love you.
The fires of this Cheyenne squaw
will burn hot, not only in the
hearth, but in my heart. I lay
beside you naked, not for any
desire of my own, Wild Spirit, but
only to please you, my mighty
Nakonay parts her lips and presses them against the side of
his face.
                       NAKONAY (cont'd)
You are no ordinary warrior, even
though you think like one. Your
actions speak with a thousand
tongues of warriors before you. I
shall not share myself with any
other, for it is only you I


Then it is I you shall have. It is
many moons we have to be apart,
but when I return I shall make up
for the time we could not spend
together. I pray by my people,
White Dove that I return to you as
I am today. I want the papoose of
my mate to grow with their father
by their side.
Hush, my mighty warrior, and enjoy
Nakonay by your side.
Nakonay lays there and undresses him and makes him forget
the day that lies a moon away. Passions build and in no time
Johnny turns to face his mate and their lips meet.
As he kisses her, passions arise in her like she'd never
Oh my God, Johnny, I want you in
me. Take me, my mate, Iím all
Johnny slowly caresses every part of her body in a slow and
passionate pace. When his hands reach and touch her love
mound, she can no longer contain the love juices that were
anxious to flow. Afterwards he made love to her and she
embraced each thrust, of his young but muscular frame, until
they both explode in passionate bliss.
The morning arrives with a bright sun and Johnny sits across
the table from Nakonay sipping on his hot coffee.
Nakonay! Our love grows with the
rising of each morning's sun and
passions within our spirit will
not die. Iíll think of you every
day as I go about my duties, and
every night, when I sleep, Iíll
dream of you by my side.
How much time do we have?


Weíll be picked up in an hour and
taken to the bus station. That bus
will leave town at twelve-fifteen
and take us to our training
Do you have all your papers for
the Army?
They are in my suitcase, as is my
picture of you.
Don't you go and get killed on me,
Johnny Wild Spirit
Iím not meant to go, as like a
leaf upon a flowing creek, but
rather like a tree that stands
tall and lasts many moons.
Ken steps down from the bus and waits for the others behind
Where do we go?
We better get our papers out and
ask the soldier at the gate. Is
everyone ready?
We're ready, Johnny.
Then I guess it's time. Follow me.
Johnny leads the other three to the soldier at the main
Excuse me, sir, but can you tell
me where we are supposed to go?


Johnny hands the soldier his papers.
                       1ST MP
Let me see all your paperwork.
The six-foot-two soldier, in combat fatigues, takes a quick
look at the papers by each man.
                       1ST MP (cont'd)
Go to the main building, that one
right up there on your right, and
go to the front desk. The sergeant
will take your paperwork and tell
you where to go next.
They grab their paperwork and go through the gate.
That wasn't so bad.
The four warriors then head for the main building, three
hundred yards from the main gate.
Yeah, but he's only an MP
What's an MP?
That's short for Military Police.
Didn't you see the MP on his
I saw it, but wasn't really paying
attention to it. Okay, then, so
he's like the sheriff in town,
In a way you could say that. The
sheriff, in town, is a county
officer. This guy is more like the
town cops.
Oh, so we better listen to what he
has to say.


Exactly! Well, guys, our vacation
is over. Here's the building and
once we go through those doors
weíll be in a new world.
Let's do it!
Sam leads the way through the main door of the building
Company ĎGí stands in formation, twenty enlistees in all,
with their M-14 rifles poised with the butt firmly against
their right foot and their right hand grasping the barrel,
at attention.
                       SGT WOODS
At ease, soldiers.
Company ĎGí snaps to parade rest.

The SERGEANT paces back and forth in front of his men with
an M-14 in his hands.
                       SGT WOODS
This, boots, is an M-14 assault
rifle. In combat it's your life's
blood. Keep it clean at all times.
Know this weapon. Youíll be shown
how to take this weapon apart,
clean it, and reassemble it in
record time. Its efficiency can
mean the difference between life
and death, for you or a comrade.
You donít want to misuse this
weapon while here at boot camp.
Discipline is the least of your
problems. I, on the other hand,
will be your worst nightmare, if I
see you mistreating this weapon in
any manner.


The day before Thanksgiving, with sixty days of their
training behind them, all enlistees, over four hundred in
all, are having their lunch when a message is heard over the
All Company Sergeants report
immediately to the Adjutant's
office, on the double.
I wonder what's going on.
You don't suppose warís broken out
with Iraq, do you?
Thereís always that possibility,
but weíre only recruits. We aren't
trained to go to war yet.
Hell, guys, weíve still got
another thirty days of boot camp
to go before we can be considered
Iím sure, if itís going to be
something important, weíll hear
about it from the sergeant.
By the time the sergeants return to the mess hall, all
twenty companies are in formation in their assigned slots.
Billy Whitecloud is acting squad leader. The sergeant
approaches the men.
      (Loud and Crisp)
Company ĎGí, attention!
All the enlistees immediately snap to attention. Sergeant
Woods assumes his spot beside the squad leader.
                       SGT WOODS
Company ĎGí, forward march.


The company follows their leader and with each change in
direction that he calls out, they respond accordingly. In
between changes in direction, he uses a cadence call to keep
the company marching in uniform. As they approach their
barracks, he calls out,
                       SGT WOODS
Company...halt, one-two.
The Sergeant then marches around to the front of his
                       SGT WOODS
In a moment Iím dismissing you all
to go to the barracks. This
afternoon's schedule has been
cancelled. We will talk inside
the barracks. Company ĎGí,
All twenty three recruits head inside the building.
                       SGT WOODS
Everybody up front by the lounge,
on the double.
The sergeant enters the sleeping quarters of those men he's
had for only sixty days and works his way to the lounge
                       SGT WOODS
Please find a place and sit down,
even if it's on the floor, men.
After everyone is as comfortable as they can get, he then
talks to them in a more casual tone.
                       SGT WOODS
Each company leader just got word
from our base adjutant that war
with Iraq is about to happen and
soon. The consensus is that itíll
start in December or January. Why
is that affecting you recruits?
We've been asked to go through our
companies and to pick out only
those men who we believe are ready
and can be soldiers in this man's
Army. In case youíre wondering,


                       SGT WOODS (cont'd)
that means to go to war. I've only
had you young men for sixty days,
but yes Iíve learned who are and
arenít ready to face the realities
of war. There are four young men,
in Company ĎGí who are ready to do
whatever they are called upon to
do. When I call your names, I want
you to stand up and come up here
to the front, so your friends can
say good-bye. Youíll pack your
things to go on leave. Tomorrow
morning youíll receive your money
from the adjutant's office so you
can have a way to get home. You'll
also get your orders. Do not ask
me where youíre going, for I
haven't seen the orders. There's a
good chance you'll be sent to an
outfit who will be headed to Iraq.
Here are the names: Sam Greyeagle,
please step forward. Ken
Silverfox, Johnny Blackwater, and
Billy Whitecloud.
The Sergeant waits as the four Cheyenne warriors step
                       SGT WOODS (cont'd)
You may wonder why I chose these
four young men. Yes they are
Native American Indians, and to be
more precise, they are Cheyenne,
but aside from that, each one of
these young men passed all their
running, climbing, crawling,
shooting, and every other
challenge they were given. These
four men are not only strong
physically, but they are strong
mentally as well. Whatever you
four young men do, and wherever
you go, continue with the attitude
you've displayed here at boot
camp. It's most likely youíll be
heading right to Iraq. Your native
training has done you well. Before
you leave, in the morning, the
four of you will advance to
private second class.


Do we get any orders, sir?
                       SGT WOODS
You'll get your orders and your
pay at the adjutant's office, in
the morning, at zero-seven-hundred
hours. Your orders are to be
served by the adjutant, and heís
the only one whoís seen them here
at camp. I have to go over there,
as soon as I leave here, and give
him your names. You four have
proved yourselves in every aspect
of Army combat training. I wish
you well, soldiers, and may your
gods go with you. Say your
good-byes, soldiers. Weíll relax
for the rest of the day. I'll be
back in about an hour.
As he started for the door, the acting master-at-arms stands
at attention.
                       SGT WOODS
At ease, soldier!
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Good morning, my brothers. I
wondered if Running Deer had been
drinking when he contacted me this
morning. Iím glad I listened to
him. You warriors are home early.
Billy throws his gear into the back of the wagon.
Good morning my father.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Itís good to have you home, my
It looks like there will be a war
with Iraq, Chief, and we were the
only four out of our group chosen
because we were ready to go.


                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
I am saddened you young men have
to go to the white man's war, Wild
Spirit, but it is something you
knew might happen when you joined.
Yes, my chief, we did.
Johnny places his gear in the back of the wagon, as do the
others. Once everyone was situated, Chief Whitecloud turns
the wagon around and heads back towards the reservation.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Do your mates know you are home,
Wild Spirit?
Our mates do not know, my mighty
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Then they are in for a big
surprise. White Dove has done you
proud, Wild Spirit, but Iíll let
her show you. Sheís been a
different woman since you chose
her as your mate.
From your comments, I take it
thatís a good thing. You speak
wise, oh great Chief.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Your chief is getting old, Wild
Spirit, and the ways of the
Cheyenne are fading like the
buffalo that no longer roam our
lands by the hundreds.
The buffalo may not roam our
lands, wise chief, but our
heritage and traditions shall not
fall as they did. It is up to the
younger generation of Cheyenne to
keep our heritage strong.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
You are very wise, for a warrior
so young, Wild Spirit.


I had a good teacher, who taught
me the ways of my people. Those
thoughts are what makes me the
wild spirit Iím named for.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
I see your friends sleep while we
ride for our village.
When we flew to the airport we
were all awake, but when we rode
the bus, I slept while the other
three warriors stayed awake. Now
it is me who stays awake and they
sleep. They will awaken when we
get there. They are as anxious to
see their mates as I am to see
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
That is a good thing. Do you
warriors plan to wed while you are
We all would like that, if it
pleases our chief.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Then you shall have your wish,
Johnny Wild Spirit Blackwater, as
will the other warriors. You will
be seeing your mate very soon, as
we are about ten minutes from the
Thank you, my Chief.
For the few minutes more that he has to wait, the ride into
the reservation is quiet. Itís a little after eight o'clock
when Chief Whitecloud enters the reservation with the four
warriors on board the wagon.
Johnny awakens his friends.
Okay, guys, time to wake up. We're


That didn't take long.
The wagon comes to a stop.
Good morning, my father.
Billy jumps off the wagon onto the ground.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
It is good to see my son, Rider of
the Clouds, but there is one who'd
like to see you even more.
Is it mother?
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
Mother waits to see her son as
well, but it is Soaring Hawk who
asks about you every day.
Iím anxious to see her as well, my
father. I shall go to her first.
Did you tell her I was on my way
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
I left this surprise for you to
share with her, my son.
How is Quiet Spirit, oh great
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
She speaks of you every day, Bear
Claw, and is anxious to wed.
Okay, gang, I have someone who
wants to see me, so Iím heading to
my hut.
Johnny grabs his gear and heads towards his bungalow.


On Monday morning the Cheyenne village bustles with
activity, as warriors and others make preparations for the
Tribal Counsel Fire that night.
Bye, my mate. Only a few more
hours and I shall bear your name.
Nakonay kisses Johnny before she heads out the door.
I shall see you shortly, White
Nakonay sprints out the door.

Johnny prepares to meet the elders and his Chief. New
moccasins he pulls from the makeshift closet to adorn his
feet. He then pulls the deer-hide pants out and places them
on the bed. He looks for his white shirt, finds it and adds
it to his wedding outfit. It is still early, as the sun
begins to fade in the west. Once the sun finally sets, and
darkness engulfs the Indian Village, itís time to get
dressed for the special night that lays ahead. After a
shower, Johnny gets dressed in the tradition of his people.
After his clothing is on, two eagle feathers he places in
his hair, the two feathers of the warrior. As a final touch
he wears the deer-hide vest his father gave him for the
On the other side of the village, Nakonay prepares for her
special night. She wears a white dress she'd made for the
day she'd marry Johnny Wild Spirit, with tassels that adorn
the front from shoulder to shoulder. The dress extends down
to just about her ankles. More tassels line the sides of the
dress in true Cheyenne style.
How do I look, mother?


                       SHADOW HAWK
You'll be the envy of all the
other maidens, my daughter. You
have but to adorn your feathers to
your hair to be a princess to Wild
I can do it, mother, but I'll let
you do that for me. You can see
what you are doing easier than I
White Dove turns around as her mother fastens the two eagle
feathers to her hair. The final hair-band, to keep the
feathers standing up straight, and her daughter is ready for
the ceremony.
Nakonay turns to face her father.
Does your daughter appease you, my
                       LONE WOLF
You make Lone Wolf Strongheart
proud, my daughter. Wild Spirit
will look at you to be a princess
in your hut.
How soon can we leave?
                       LONE WOLF
Relax, my daughter, for it is not
time to go, just yet. We do not
leave until the Tribal Drums call
I'm sorry, father. I forgot!
                       SHADOW HAWK
You are anxious, as all the
maidens are about now, for this is
your night to shine. All the
village maidens will be looking at
you this night with envy, for
their turn has not yet come.
Yes, mother Iím anxious. Iíve
known Wild Spirit since many, many
moons, mother, and have wanted to


                       NAKONAY (cont'd)
see this night for almost all of
them with him. I do hope I can
feel his child inside of me while
heís gone, so I can have a part of
him with me in his absence.
                       SHADOW HAWK
Fear not, White Dove, he wants
that as much as you do, where he
is a true Cheyenne warrior. I also
feel he would not want your child
to be born and him not here by
your side to see the event.
This is true, mother, for heís
said so himself. He is so kind and
loving. I love him so much
                       SHADOW HAWK
Weíve both seen your smile,
Nakonay, a smile that comes from
the joys of being in love. I still
have that joy even now with your
father. It's hard to see it, at
times, but it's there.
Thank you, mother!
At that moment the Tribal Drums speak, and can be heard
throughout the village.
                       LONE WOLF
It's time, my daughter, to meet
with the elders and the Chief.
Nakonay allows her parents to leave the bungalow in front of
The three of them head towards the Tribal Counsel Fire and
as they neared it they could see the reflection of the fires
in the nightís sky. The village is filled with Cheyenne
who've come to witness her big day, along with three other

The four warriors are already standing by the elders as each


one waits their turn to wed. Johnny couldn't help but keep
his eyes glued to where Nakonay and her parents are coming
from. Finally he sees her in her white dress, a beautiful
contrast to her darkened Cheyenne skin. His heart races fast
as they take their places alongside the other maidens and
their respective parents.
Chief Whitecloud then raises his hand and the tribal Drums
cease. He stands from his seat and addresses his people.
                       CHIEF WHITECLOUD
My brothers and sisters, people of
the Cheyenne Nation, tonight we
celebrate a tradition not only of
the white man, but of the Cheyenne
as well. Our people consider the
taking of a mate, by a warrior,
sacred, and we honor that taking
by giving them the given name of
the warrior. This night I, as your
Chief, have the honor to wed four
of our newest warriors, Sam Bear
Claw Greyeagle, Johnny Wild Spirit
Blackwater, Ken Silent Thunder
Silverfox, and my own son Billy
Rider of the Clouds Whitecloud.
The maidens, Kohana Quiet Spirit
Whitecloud, Nakonay White Dove
Strongheart, Nateyat Gentle Flower
Strongbow, and Dahlia Soaring Hawk
Strongbow will wed these warriors.
I now call our newest warriors to
stand before the Tribal Council
and their mates beside them.
All four warriors and their mates stand before the chief and
elders and the wedding ceremony is held before their tribe.
Though the ceremonies were over with, the celebration of the
weddings continue until the moon is almost directly
overhead. Johnny could not take his eyes off his beautiful
wife, her outfit the best of the four maidens, and they
danced along with the others around the Tribal Fires to
consummate their marriage. As the fires begin to die out,


and the Cheyenne villagers begin to disperse to their
bungalows, Johnny takes Nakonay and they head to their own.
You are so beautiful, my mate, and
yes I was both surprised and
pleased. My eyes have not been
able to focus on anyone but you
for the night. I never dreamed
you'd dress as beautiful as you
After you left to go to that boot
camp thing, Johnny, I decided I
was going to make my own wedding
dress to please the man I love.
You told me you made it, but when
I saw you coming into the Tribal
Fire with your parents, I couldn't
believe my eyes. Every maiden in
the village was filled with envy.
Tonight we need not hold back, for
I want to be with child before you
leave in a few days. I want you to
be with me always and forever. A
papoose in my womb will give me
what I can't have until you
The bus stops at the gate to Fort Louis. A soldier with a
hard hat, that has MP emblazoned on it, comes into the bus
and steps inside.
                       2ND MP
ID's please!
He checks the identification of the four young warriors. He
then returns to the front.


                       2ND MP
You're clear to go, driver.
He then steps back out.
Moments later the bus pulls up in front of a large building.
                       BUS DRIVER
Fort Louis, soldiers. Last stop!
Johnny led the way inside the building and went to a desk
situated a short distance away from the door.
                       DESK SGT.
Can I help you, soldier?
Johnny and the others approach the six-foot Sergeant.
Yes, sir! We all have papers to
report here, Sergeant.
                       DESK SGT.
Let me see your papers, please.
Johnny hands his to him immediately, as the others retrieved
theirs from their gear. They hand the papers forward to
Johnny, who then hands them to the Sergeant.
                       DESK SGT. (cont'd)
You soldiers know that youíre a
day early, don't you?
Yes, sir, we do. We came from
Colorado and wanted to make sure
we got here on time.
                       DESK SGT.
There's no need to call me sir,
soldier. I am a sergeant, a
I said it out of respect,


                       DESK SGT.
Thank you. Are you aware that the
four of you are on a special
assignment to this base?
We were not aware of that,
                       DESK SGT.
Colonel Dickinson has been
awaiting your arrival. Wait here a
minute, and I'll be right back.
The sergeant heads down the hall and goes into one of the
rooms. Moments later he returns.
                       DESK SGT.
The colonel will be right with
A tall man leaves the same room and heads in their
direction. Johnny and the others salute as he approaches.
When he reaches them he returns the salute.
                       COL. DICKINSON
At ease, soldiers. Follow me.
Johnny once again takes the lead and they follow the man
into the office.
                       COL. DICKINSON
Please have a seat. Welcome to
Fort Louis, soldiers. For the next
three weeks the four of you will
be getting special training.
Excuse me, sir, but for what?
                       COL. DICKINSON
It's no secret that a war is about
to break out with Iraq. In case
you aren't aware of it, this camp
is a training camp for demolition
teams. However, your training will
not be in demolition. The
qualities you four possess, we
need in order to safely guide our
teams of demolition experts to
their designated targets.


In other words weíll be scouts,
                       COL. DICKINSON
In a manner of speaking, yes. In
the Army we call them spotters. In
less than sixty days, at boot
camp, the four of you passed every
test possible. You not only passed
those tests but you surpassed some
of our trained soldiers. It is for
that reason I had you four
assigned to us. Our teams will be
going into Iraq to demolish
certain buildings and targets.
Itíll be up to the four of you to
guide our teams in there and make
sure they are not killed in the
process and then see that they get
back out before the target blows.
We are only Cheyenne Indians, sir.
We've had training as scouts when
hunting, but at this level we've
done nothing.
                       COL. DICKINSON
Master Sergeant Ken Dobbs will be
training the four of you starting
Friday morning, promptly at zero
eight hundred hours. I advise you
men to familiarize yourselves with
the base and its facilities. When
you leave this building, take a
right and go to the second
building down. When you go inside,
see the master-at-arms. Heíll
assign you to your bunks. Once
you've settled in, take a walk
around the base. You've got the
rest of today and tomorrow, so
make use of your free time. Friday
morning, after breakfast, you'll
meet with Master Sergeant Dobbs in
classroom "D" in building "E". It
will be marked classrooms on the
outside. The four of you come here
with very high regard from your
Company Sergeant in boot camp. It
was his report that got you this
assignment. In three weeks time
this unit will be leaving for


                       COL. DICKINSON (cont'd)
Iraq. I want you men ready. Is
that clear, soldiers?
      (In unison with
       the others)
Yes, sir!
                       COL. DICKINSON
When they get to the classroom itís empty, so they all take
a seat near the front where they can hear every word thatís

At zero-eight-hundred hours, on the button, a huge man of
about six-feet tall and weighing almost three hundred pounds
enters the room.
                       SGT DOBBS
Good morning, soldiers. Iím
Master Sergeant Dobbs. As I call
your name, please stand so I know
who you are. Johnny Blackwater.
Johnny stands up beside his desk.
                       SGT DOBBS (cont'd)
You may sit down. Sam Greyeagle.
This time itís Sam who stands up. Two more times he calls
their names and they stand up and then sit down. He then
took a seat and goes over the paperwork closely. Once heís
satisfied with the information he was given, he looks at the
four Cheyenne warriors.
                       SGT DOBBS
Okay! I suppose youíre all
wondering why you were chosen for
this military operation. The
report we got from your company
sergeant, at boot camp, gave us
quite a rundown on the four of
you. One: your grades were higher
than some officers we have. Two:
Your obstacle courses were run
faster than any records we've
kept. Three: Your aim with the


                       SGT DOBBS (cont'd)
M-14 is unbelievable. Not one miss
in four hundred rounds. And
finally: The four of you have the
fastest running times on camp. Are
there any questions at this point?
The Master Sergeant waits.
                       SGT DOBBS
I have three weeks in which to
train you men for a special job in
Iraq. I can't tell you the name of
the operation, for security
reasons, but I can train you. In a
little while I'll tell you what
your objective is going to be, but
first I will be picking one of you
four men to be the squad leader
for the group. Why do a group of
four men need a squad leader?
Johnny raises his hand.
                       SGT DOBBS
Yes, Johnny.
I believe that someone has to be
in charge, no matter what kind of
operation it is. If everything
goes well, then no problem, but if
something goes wrong, it requires
someone to take the responsibility
for what went wrong.
                       SGT DOBBS
That's a good and viable answer.
But there's more to it then that.
Decisions have to be made in an
instant. If no one is in charge
then there can be total chaos
within the group. Itíll be the job
of this group to search the
perimeter near to where the
demolition team has to set the
explosives, and make sure the
enemy is taken out.
Can I ask a question, Sergeant?


                       SGT DOBBS
Please do, soldier.
My dad was in the Army in Vietnam.
According to what he's told me,
there are only two Army ways of
taking out the enemy without being
heard or seen, and maintaining any
silence. They are by knife and
garrote, right?
                       SGT DOBBS
That's right, but why do you ask?
I know this may sound crazy,
sergeant, but many times when the
Cheyenne hunt, we hunt with
crossbow. The reason is that it
maintains silence and does not
disturb other prey we are seeking
to hunt. I know that may be a
little different than what we have
here, but the silence needs to be
of the utmost importance if we
have to take out the enemy so our
demolition team can set the
charges. The use of an M-14 will
alert any sleeping enemy once a
shotís been fired.
                       SGT DOBBS
You've made a valid point. How
accurate are you men with the
You put a swinging target at fifty
yards, Sergeant, and there's not a
one of us who won't hit it, and
maybe even more than one
                       SGT DOBBS
Are you serious, soldier?
If the lives of my friends, or
anyone else I may have to protect,
is at stake, then you better
believe I can drop a man at fifty
yards, and so can each one of
these men beside me. Add to that


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
the fact that a crossbow can be
rearmed in a matter of three
seconds, and you've got yourself a
deadly but silent weapon.
                       SGT DOBBS
This is something I want to see.
I'll see that by Monday we have
several crossbows in the camp. If
what you say is true, soldier, you
may have just earned the right to
be squad leader. Let me continue.
Youíll be given map-reading
skills. Learn them well. The
terrain you'll be traversing is
not like what you see here. It's
desert, barren land. During the
day you'll roast in your uniforms,
and at night you'll be cold. Most
of your work will be done at
night, under the cover of
darkness. When you're on a
mission, you'll have nothing but a
pen light to read these maps with.
Excuse me, Sergeant!
Sam raises his hand.
                       SGT DOBBS
Yes, Sam!
We've been out in the desert at
night, sergeant, and to be honest,
if we use a flashlight, of any
size, that would be like inviting
a disaster.
                       SGT DOBBS
How do you mean, soldier?
During the day, no one would ever
see a light, nor would anyone need
one, but at night the smallest
light can be seen for miles in the
dark, especially by someone
looking through binoculars. Were
you to use a light, even under
your clothing, it can still be
seen. That means, whoever is on


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
this mission has to memorize their
location until they are safely out
of range of the enemy. A light is
one way of saying, here I am,
shoot me.
                       SGT DOBBS
Now I know why Sergeant Wilkins
gave us your names. I have to
agree with you, soldier, so that
means, when you get to your
drop-off point, and check in with
command, even though you have maps
on you, you men will have to
memorize your location so you can
return when the mission is
completed. One of these nights,
soldiers, I am going to try your
theory, right here in camp,
without the use of a pen-light.
Thank you, sergeant.
Tuesday morning the warriors arrive at the range precisely
at zero eight hundred hours. The range was not set up for
moving targets, so Sergeant Dobbs has a special target made
up to move.
                       SGT DOBBS
Okay, soldiers, here are your
weapons. I'll give you three
arrows. See how many you can hit
the target with, as fast as you
Sergeant Dobbs hands the four warriors each a crossbow and
three arrows.
Sergeant Dobbs then motions another soldier to turn on the
machine. Fifty-one yards away one solitary target moves back
and forth, from left to right, as both Sam and Johnny take
aim. Both shoot simultaneously and reload their bow. They
both shot again and reload for the second time. Johnny was a
hair faster than Sam and gets the third shot off and lowers
his bow.


                       SGT DOBBS
Okay, soldiers, let's go see how
many hits we've got.
Sam and Johnny wait as the target is brought up to where
they are standing.
                       SGT DOBBS
You two were incredible. Six
successive hits on the target and
I hardly heard a one of them. I
stood there, while you were
shooting, and tried to hear them
when they hit. Only once did I
detect a hit on the target.
The target is reset, but the Sergeant has it reset it for
fifty-three yards, two yards deeper than the first shoot.
                       SGT DOBBS
When youíre ready, soldiers, go
ahead and shoot.
Both Billy and Ken were as good as Sam and Johnny on the
crossbow, and they both shot off three rounds in succession.
As the target was once again brought up for their
inspection, they proved to be right. Two arrows pierced the
bulls-eye and the other four were less than two inches away
on either side.
                       SGT DOBBS
Okay, soldiers, you made your
point and you all made it well. It
was hard for me to believe a
moving target, that small and at
fifty yards, could be hit with any
degree of accuracy, but you four
did it. Let's get back to the
classroom. We have other training
that needs to be done this week.
The four warriors follow the Master Sergeant until they
return to their classrooms and take their seats.
                       SGT DOBBS
For most of this week we'll be
training you men in the art of map
reading. The terrain you men will
be traversing in, you'll need to


                       SGT DOBBS (cont'd)
know in advance.
If we can look at the map, prior
to any mission, we can get to the
area in question, and get back out
of their undetected, back to our
original spot, or wherever else we
may need to get to.
                       SGT DOBBS
You can do that, just by studying
a map, and not looking at it again
until the mission is over?
Yes, Sergeant, we can; any of us.
                       SGT DOBBS
Would you four like to test that
theory out?
We'd be glad to, Sergeant. We'd
feel right at home
                       SGT DOBBS
Tomorrow I will draw up a map of
an area within the camp that we
use for other purposes. Wednesday
night I'll have you men leave from
a particular location, and under
the cover of darkness you four
will then have to reach another
location, drop a canister, and
return to your designated area
undetected. I will have several
men out there, whoíll act as the
enemy, with paint guns. If they
shoot, they'll be shooting paint
balls. If youíre hit by a paint
ball then you will not have proved
your point. If you succeed, then
I'll have no choice but to believe
you. If you men do make it back to
your starting position, then
you'll have the next day to sleep.
I won't have any classes for you
on Thursday. Understood?
The four warriors nod in agreement.


                       SGT DOBBS
Okay, soldiers, I'll let you leave
class early, so you can rest up
and study this map before you go
out there tonight. I'll meet you
at the barracks at twenty-thirty
hours. It'll be plenty dark by the
time we get there.
How many men will you have out
there to try and get us, Sergeant?
                       SGT DOBBS
When you head out on a mission,
soldier, will you know how many of
the enemy you'll be up against?
No, sir, we won't.
                       SGT DOBBS
Then I'm not telling you. You
should then think that there's a
platoon of soldiers protecting
this place, so go from there.
Yes, sir!
                       SGT DOBBS
Dismissed, gentlemen.
Sergeant Dobbs grabs the map.
                       SGT DOBBS (cont'd)
You'll need this, soldier.
Sgt. Dobbs hands the map to Johnny as he walks by the desk.
Thank you, sir.
Once inside the barracks, Johnny lays the map of the camp
out on the table.


Here's where we'll start from.
Johnny points to a building they'd not been into yet.
It's a building that's used for
small arms training.
How far is it from the classroom?
About a quarter of a mile, by
looking at this. The field that
we've got to cross is behind it
and stretches out for about two
miles or so.
What's that spot right there?
Sam points to an area with an "X" marked on it.
That's where we have to pick up
the canister. This map gives us a
good idea of how much territory we
have to cover to make it to where
the canister is to be located, and
then make it back. We may even
need to make a different escape
At eight-thirty the four warriors stand outside their
barracks waiting for their Sergeant to pick them up. Moments
later he arrives and they all climb into the military jeep.
                       SGT DOBBS
Are you men ready?
Yes, Sergeant, we are.
Sgt. Dobbs pulls away from the barracks.
Seven minutes later they pull up to an empty and darkened


                       SGT DOBBS
Set this radio on the door handle,
Johnny. Give me a call when you
return and I'll come down and pick
you up. Good luck soldiers. You
better make it back here, because
I've got fifty bucks says you men
make it back without any paint.
The Sergeant pulls the jeep away from them.
The four warriors stand there, without any weapons of any
kind, and only a radio. Johnny places the radio on the door
handle and takes a look around the corner of the building.
The men have the advantage of a darkened night, without the
aid of a moon to help guide them.
Okay, guys, follow me, but stay
low and keep your eyes open for
anyone who might be out here.
They'll be looking for us.
Johnny starts out towards the rear of the building and heads
out into the open field but keeps his body low to the
ground. The others follow and get their eyes adjusted to the
dark. Johnny approaches a small hill and crawls on his
stomach. He pulls out a pair on binoculars from its case.
After a quick look around, he sees no one. He continues to
crawl as the others follow behind him. The next hill, or
large mound, was almost an eighth of a mile due east, in the
direction where he was already going, and before he climbs
to the top of it, he raises his hand for the others to stop.
Once again he climbs almost to the top and pulls out his
binoculars, but hears two men talking softly just ahead of
them. About thirty feet on the other side, are two soldiers
who are there to take Johnny or any of his friends out with
the paint balls. Thinking quickly, he slides back down with
the others, and motions for them to be quiet. He puts two
fingers in the air and let's them know that two men are on
the other side. He then finds a rather large stone, on the
ground, and heaves it, with all he has, to the north of
their location.
The two soldiers, who are sitting casually on the ground,
jump when the rock hits the ground.
                       1ST SOLDIER
That must be them, Fred. Let's go
and take a look, so I can head to


The two men run to the north, in the direction Johnny threw
the rock, while Johnny and his friends hightail it towards
their destination. As they cross the small hill they can see
it ahead of them, as it is lit. The men make it to where
they need to pick up the canister, and do so. Then they
take off to the south, away from where they'd already come.
They traverse a different return route. They take the long
way back, and end up behind the mess hall and classrooms and
use the buildings for cover.
Slowly the four of them crawl up against the near side of
the building, where they are able to then stand. Johnny
motions that he will crawl to the front door and retrieve
the radio, and return. He goes to the corner and looks down
where the radio hangs, and crawls on his belly. He stands
and grabs the radio and then runs for the corner of the
building where the rest of them wait. They crawl away from
the building, into the tall grass, and then Johnny keys the
Cheyenne Four to Leader One, come
in Leader One.
                       SGT DOBBS (VO)
Go ahead, Cheyenne Four. Over.
Mission accomplished. Come and get
us, Sergeant. Over
                       SGT DOBBS (VO)
Roger, Cheyenne Four. Over and
We'll stay here until he pulls up,
just in case his friends don't
play by the same rules we do.
You don't think they'd cheat, do
If you were the enemy, wouldn't
you do anything, including
cheating, to stay alive?
Well yeah, but this isn't a war.


It is if you've got fifty dollars
of your hard earned money riding
on the outcome.
I see your point. Here comes a set
of lights, Johnny!
Once Johnny recognizes Sergeant Dobbs, he and his friends
then stand up and go over to him, as two soldiers come
around the corner of the building.
Dobbs steps out of the jeep and turns to the four Cheyenne
                       SGT DOBBS
Do you guys realize that I had ten
of my best men out there trying to
find you. How did you accomplish
that task?
It's a Cheyenne secret, Sergeant.
                       SGT DOBBS
You men are good, all of you. Get
in the jeep and I'll take you back
to the barracks. Well, guys, you
can have the day off tomorrow, as
I promised you. You all earned it.
                       SGT DOBBS
Okay, men, when you leave here
this afternoon, get ready to
head to Iraq. You'll be bussed to
the Air Force base and
taken to Saudi Arabia by troop
transport, at ten hundred
hours, so enjoy what comfort you
have now. You men proved
your worth to the Army. I've got
twenty boxes of arrows for
your crossbows going with you, so
that's two thousand arrows
in all. Theyíll be staying with
you men, so you don't have
to hunt them down when you get
ready to go on a mission. I
have ten crossbows going with you,


                       SGT DOBBS (cont'd)
along with the four you
men own at this point. They may
belong to the military, but
they are your life and breath, so
just like an M-14 is a
soldier's, these are yours.
Dismissed soldiers!
Johnny and the others exit the plane and he approaches the
six-foot two hundred and sixty pound Sergeant Cooper.
Where are we heading, Sarge?
                       SGT. COOPER
You men, for now, stay with me
until we get assigned our
quarters. I'll find out where the
operations tent is and make sure
the men have their orders.
Will do, Sergeant! Get your orders
out, guys, and follow me.
Sergeant Cooper and Johnny head inside the operations tent,
and approach a Corporal seated near its entry way.
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Can I see your orders, Sergeant?
Both the Sergeant and Johnny hand the orders from their men.
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Private Blackwater! General Davis
wants to see you and your men
before you leave here.
Thank you, Corporal!
Johnny reaches for the orders as theyíre handed back to him.


                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Sergeant! I'll have a man escort
you and your team to your
                       SGT. COOPER
What about my spotters?
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
I'll have someone escort them as
soon as the General gets through
with them.
                       SGT. COOPER
Thank you, corporal
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Will you please bring in your
team, Private?
Yes, sir!
Johnny leaves the tent, only to return a moment later with
the other warriors.
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Follow me, soldiers.
The Corporal then leads his way through the tent to a man
who is studying some maps.
                       CPL. WILLIAMS
General! Here's the spotters you
asked to see when they arrived,
The Corporal Salutes the General, as do Johnny and the
                       GEN. BROOKFIELD
Thank you, Corporal, that will be
all. At ease, soldiers. Welcome to
the war zone.
Thank you, sir
The General takes a seat across from the four warriors.
                       GEN. BROOKFIELD
You must be Johnny Blackwater,


Yes I am, sir, but why?
                       GEN. BROOKFIELD
You have the leadership qualities
that I like seeing in my squad
Thank you, sir.
                       GEN. BROOKFIELD
Have a seat, gentlemen. I've
heard some really good things
about your team of spotters. You
are going to be trying out a new
technique of spotting that the men
you'll be trying to protect are
not familiar with. Your sense of
reasoning is justified, which is
why weíre going with it here in
Iraq. I don't want casualties of
war, soldiers. It happens, and
itís all a part of war, but I want
most of my men, if not all of
them, to be able to get home the
way they came here, in one piece
and alive. That's where you men
come in. The use of crossbows, in
this war, is going to be something
new. Yes they were used at times
in Vietnam, but was not the rule.
We're giving you the edge, in
trying to use them successfully
here. As you can tell, by the
silence, that the war has not yet
started, but will in only a matter
of days. When it starts, then it
will be up to you men to lead the
demolition team to the ammo dumps,
or whatever target, wherever they
are, so they can blow them up,
then make sure they get back here
to camp in one piece. Thatíll be
all soldiers. Have a good day.
Johnny and the others stand up and salute the general, then
they head back to the corporalís table.
Morning, Corporal! Can you tell me
where the demolition team went to,
the men I came here with?


                       CPL. WILLIAMS
Yes, private. I'll have someone
escort you to your quarters. One
moment, please.
                       1ST PRIVATE
Come with me, guys.
Johnny and the others follow.
                       1ST PRIVATE
Here's your quarters, guys, so
Johnny and the others stand there and look, as all they have
are two-man tents and two cots to lay on.
Well they gotta be better than the
floor of that damn plane, Johnny.
I'll take this one.
I'll be his roommate, Johnny.
Billy sits on the cot opposite ken.
I guess that leaves us this one,
Sam. Which cot would you like?
It makes no difference, Johnny.
What's our schedule going to be
like, once we get settled in?
Every day we've got to run the
obstacle course. We need to make
sure our bodies are strong for
whatever we may face out there.
Out where?
Sam looks outside the tent.
Look to the North, Sam. We're
about five miles south of Iraq, so
it would be north.


By two p.m. Johnny and Sergeant Cooper enter the operations
tent along with about fifty other men.
                       GEN. CROFT
Listen up, soldiers! At zero
twelve-fifty tomorrow morning, the
US warplanes will be making their
first runs of this war. It will be
a continuous bombing raid on key
targets within Iraq, and I cannot
disclose what those targets are,
for obvious reasons. Your men will
need to get an early night's
sleep, because the noise around
here will be continuous, once it
starts. We'll be making our first
land entry into Iraq at zero-eight
hundred hours with the First
Calvary, Second Battalion, and our
first Armored Tank division
leading the way in. This is what
we've been training for, men. IĎm
sure thereíll be casualties, but
try and watch each other's backs
out there. We've got US warships
in both the Persian Gulf and the
Red Sea. Our Navy planes will be
deployed from the Red Sea. The
Scud Missiles will be launched
from cruisers in the Persian Gulf.
That's all for now, men! Get your
men ready, for this war is about
to begin. Dismissed!
By darkness, almost every soldier sits and waits for the
first bombs to hit inside Iraq, and the uneasiness is
exemplified by the silence around camp. By early morning the
bombs start to hit their designated targets in the war zone,
and the silence turns to continuous sounds of thunderous
explosions as they strike, some as close as twenty miles
away. With the rising of the morning sun, sounds of tanks
heading north can be heard by Johnny and his friends.


      (To Sgt Cooper)
I thought they weren't going to
leave until eight o'clock.
                       SGT. COOPER
You're right, private, they
aren't, but they have to get in
position for when the order is
given, and the men have to be
ready to pull out. Setting that up
all takes time.
I didn't know, Sergeant. Are you
as anxious to get your first
assignment, as I am?
                       SGT. COOPER
As a matter of fact, yes I am.
This is what the Army pays me to
do, so now that I'm here, and both
mentally and physically ready to
do that job, I want to get out
there and do it.
Sam exits the tent and joins the others.
When could be the earliest we get
to go out, Sergeant?
                       SGT. COOPER
It could be as early as tonight,
depending on how much territory
they cover today.
How much ground can they take in
one day?
                       SGT. COOPER
That would depend on how much
opposition they get as they move
along. Every time they stop and
have a firefight, that takes away
from ground that they can gain.
Should we maintain our normal
schedule today, Sergeant?


                       SGT. COOPER
That's up to you, soldier. You
know the strengths and weaknesses
of your men.
Billy and Ken join their warrior friends.
Let's go and eat, Johnny. How did
you guys sleep?
I was fine until the bombs started
to fall. I've been awake ever
since. How the hell can you sleep
with all that noise going on?
By the evening meal, Johnny is approached by Sergeant
                       SGT. COOPER
Yes, Sergeant!
                       SGT. COOPER
After you eat, you and I have to
meet with the General at the
operations tent
What time are we due there?
                       SGT. COOPER
Seventeen hundred hours.
I'll be there, Sergeant. Are we
heading out?
                       SGT. COOPER
It looks that way, but we'll know
better when we meet with him.
I'll be there.


After the meeting with the General, Johnny takes the map and
heads back to his men.
Okay, guys, it's our turn. Here's
what gives.
Johnny explains the map and what his assumptions are.
I agree with you, Johnny. That
would make the most sense, with
the cover they'd get from one of
those hills.
Until we get out there, guys, we
won't know for sure what they
have, but if itís underground,
thatíll make our job even harder.
How so?
Then we'll need a way for our team
to go inside and set the charges,
and we need to keep them covered
as well.
I see what you mean. Do you have
any ideas?
Not until after the bombing raid
is done, and they are supposed to
make only two passes over that
area. Then we can move in and see
what we've got.
You do know we won't be able to
use a light out there
I know that Sam. That's why we
have the maps now, so we can study
them. We'll have to walk about two


                       JOHNNY (cont'd)
miles to get to where these hills
are, and I'm not sure how big they
really are. Once we get there,
I'll need to scope out the whole
area and see what we've got. I'll
need you to be there with me. The
others I want to stay below until
we find out what we'll do next.
At twenty-one thirty hours Johnny wakes his team, and they
quickly get over to the operations tent. Once the men are on
the back of the truck, it is twenty-two hundred hours and
the truck pulls out from the camp and into the darkened
desert sands. An hour later they reach the drop point.
                       DRIVER 1
Okay, Sergeant, time to disembark.
We're here.
                       SGT. COOPER
Okay, soldiers, let's go!
He lowers the gate so they can jump down, and then grab
their gear with the M2 charges inside.
                       SGT. COOPER
Take it easy with those packs,
guys. We don't need any premature
explosions, okay?
Once the men and gear are unloaded, Sergeant Cooper heads to
the driver.
                       SGT. COOPER
I've got a radio, Corporal. When
we need to be picked up I'll radio
in. You be ready, because we don't
have any idea what we'll be up
against after these charges are
placed and the thing blows.


                       DRIVER 1
I'll be ready, Sergeant.
The truck pulls away into the darkness.
                       SGT. COOPER
Okay, Johnny, it's now your show
until we get into that dump. Until
that time we follow your orders,
I understand, Sergeant. This way,
Johnny leads the men away from the drop point and into the
darkness of the night.
Ten men comprise the Demolition team, and each one of them
is loaded with enough M2 to blow away a small town, as they
quickly move to their holding spot. After almost two miles
they come to a small hill. Johnny raises his hand for the
men to stop. With the light of a quarter moon above them in
the night's sky, they can see his hand without difficulty.
At that point there is no talking, but only hand signals to
be used to communicate. With a show of his hands, Johnny has
everyone, but Sam, stay below, while they climb to the top
and have a look around. Once they reach the top, to where
they have a clear view of the entire area, they both pull
their binoculars and begin a scan of the area.
Moments later, as scheduled, the US bombers fly overhead and
make the first of two bombing runs in the designated area.
After they make the first run, the planes regroup and make a
second pass.
Both Johnny and Sam watch as bomb after bomb drops in the
sector where they were headed. When the US planes are out
of hearing range, the two men then scour the area for any
signs of life. Where there is none, Johnny raises his hand
and pulls it forward, an indication he wants the men to
follow him.
Once the others are with them, Johnny and Sam both pull out
and head north. When they reach the next hill Johnny once
again motions for them to halt while he and Sam take another
look. They climb to the top of the hill on their bellies and
Sam spots headlights coming from the north and he tugs on
Johnny's shirt.
Johnny focuses on the lights and they both lie on their
bellies and watch what happens. The vehicle turns out to be
a truck and it drives past the hill opposite them and


continues on towards the south. Then the truck turns to the
right. As it pulls in front of them, it turns to the right
again, towards the hill opposite them. It then stops and the
driver shuts off the lights and then flashes them on again
and waits. Johnny and Sam watch as an overhead door swings
upward and opens to an underground entranceway. Once the
door is fully open, the driver pulls the truck inside. Both
warriors watch as it descends into the ground as the door
shut behind it. Johnny motions that it's time to inform the
others and as they descend the small hill he figures a plan
for them to get inside.
Once at the bottom, heís able to whisper his plan to them.
After the plans are set, Johnny leads the others over to a
location on the opposite hill, while Sam and Ken take up a
location away from the hill and out in the open. They get in
the prone position and wait. Almost forty minutes pass when
another set of lights approaches from the north. As planned,
Sam and Ken lay in wait for it to pass when they can take
aim and take out the driver.
Johnny waits on the opposite side to take out any passenger.
Moments seem like hours as the truck approaches slowly. When
Billy has his eyes set on the driver he takes aim and lets
an arrow fly, and at the same moment, so does Johnny, at the
passenger. Billy runs up to the truck and opens the door,
pulling the driver out and shoving his body onto the ground.
He quickly gets in the driverís seat and stops the vehicle.
Johnny gets up on the passenger side and removes the dead
passenger and then Billy slides over as passenger and sits
down, readying his crossbow for another shot.
Johnny goes around and climbs into the driver's seat while
Ken and Sam take up their positions near the entrance-way.
With the demolition team aboard, Johnny pulls the truck
around, being careful to avoid ruts made by the bombs from
earlier that morning. He pulls to just about where the other
truck did and flashes the lights off and on one time. Once
the enemy spots the code, the door opens just like before,
and Johnny waits for it to open fully and then pulls the
truck forward. Billy sits in the passenger seat and has the
crossbow at the ready. Only one man can be seen as a
security man, and as the truck pulls into the opening Billy
quickly opens the door and as he steps out he aims the
crossbow and lets an arrow fly at him, and he falls quickly
to the ground. Once the guard is taken out the demolition
team jumps down and grabs their gear.
                       SGT. COOPER
      (Whispering to
Give us five minutes and then back
this thing out of here.


Sergeant Cooper and his men then descend into the tunnel.
Johnny waits, as instructed, while Billy stands guard with
the crossbow. At exactly five minutes, Johnny gets into the
truck and backs out, while Billy remains to wait for the
rest of the team. Sam and Ken see the truck and jump down
from their position and assist Billy while Johnny makes sure
the truck is ready to roll.
Sergeant Cooper and his men reach the crest of the tunnel
and can see the munitions down below. The truck that came
earlier is beside his men and is being loaded. With the
assistance of some string, three charges are lowered beside
the truck being loaded. Once those charges were set, and
enough explosives are set to collapse the tunnel above them,
a final charge is set to go off in five minutes. The men run
to get out of there, and as they reach the opening, Johnny
is waiting with the truck at the ready.
                       SGT. COOPER
Get out of here, soldier, on the
Johnny floors it away from the area, as fast as he dared to
go. They pulled out to about three-quarters of a mile when
The skies lit up and a series of explosions rock the ground
beneath them. Johnny continues to get out of the area, until
they are safely over a mile away, when he stops and they all
take a look at the fireworks display the ammo dump gave when
it blew.
                       SGT. COOPER
Mission accomplished, soldier.
Nice job! They'll send a team out
here tomorrow to mop up and make
sure that all the munitions blew.
We cut that kind of close, guys.
Johnny once again pulls away from the area and back towards
the base.
                       SGT. COOPER
Are you going to bring this truck
in, private?
We can, but why?
                       SGT. COOPER
We better wait until we can see
the camp and call it in. Otherwise
we might get a mortar shell from
some tank at camp, and I've made
it this far, I want to get back to


                       SGT. COOPER (cont'd)
camp in one piece. Do you know
where you're going?
I'll be pretty close, Sergeant.
                       SGT. COOPER
Then drive on. Once you see the
lights of the, base I have a code
that will get us in there, but I
will have to use the radio to do
Almost an hour later, still under the cover of darkness,
Johnny can see the lights of the camp ahead of him.
Johnny brings the truck to an abrupt stop.
I see the camp, Sergeant.
                       SGT. COOPER
Let me contact the base now, then.
Sgt Cooper grabs the two-way radio and keys the mike.
                       SGT. COOPER
Night Rider One to Rider Base.
Come in, over.
                       DISPATCHER (VO)
Go ahead Rider One. This is Rider
Base. Over!
                       SGT. COOPER
Mission accomplished and we're
sitting in a truck owned by the
Iraqis. We are within sight of
the camp. Over!
Let me clear you to enter, Night
Rider One. Over!
Johnny waits for the dispatcher.
Rider Base to Night Rider One, you
are clear to enter camp. Over!


                       SGT. COOPER
Roger that, Rider Base. We're on
our way in. Night Rider One,
clear! Go ahead in, Johnny,
theyíre expecting us.
Johnny puts the truck into gear and heads towards the gate.
As he approaches, he can see that they have a welcoming
committee, as there are a number of soldiers and officers
waiting for them.
                       COL. DICKS
We'll take the truck, soldier.
Right now I want you men to head
to operations for a debriefing,
then you men deserve to hit the
Johnny exits the cab of the truck.
Thank you, sir!
By the beginning of the second week of the war, Johnny and
his friends get antsy.
When are we going to go out again,
                       SGT. COOPER
I've heard rumors this morning
that there's a hidden airport
bunker theyíre trying to find. You
and your men may go out sooner
than you expect.
It's just hard to sit back here,
when the action is out there.
                       SGT. COOPER
There'll be plenty of action, my
friend, so enjoy the lull while
you have it. I've also heard that
this war is not going to last very
long. We're taking plenty of
ground and the resistance forces,
or what they call insurgents, are


                       SGT. COOPER (cont'd)
not fighting as hard as our
leaders thought they would.
I wonder why that is.
                       SGT. COOPER
They are outnumbered by eight to
one, and I'm sure they know that,
so as we wipe out their friends,
they simply throw their weapons in
and give up. I heard somewhere
yesterday that we've already got
close to three thousand prisoners.
As the two men talk, Colonel Davis walks over to them.
                       COL. DAVIS
I'm glad to see you both together.
I've got an assignment for you
and your men, Sergeant. I'm sure
you heard about the hidden airport
bunker in ops this morning.
                       SGT. COOPER
Yes, sir, I did.
                       COL. DAVIS
Well we've pinpointed it to within
a ten mile radius. I need you and
your men to find it and knock out
their warplanes.
Wouldn't they be needing an
airstrip, in order to take off,
                       COL. DAVIS
The land is relatively flat,
Private, and they can take off
without the use of a runway. If
that were the case, we'd have
located it already. I need you
guys to be at ops in twenty
minutes to be briefed.
                       SGT. COOPER
We'll be there, Colonel!
Both Johnny and Sergeant Cooper salute the colonel. Sergeant
Cooper turns to Johnny.


                       SGT. COOPER
Well you need to be careful what
you ask for, in this man's Army,
soldier. You got your wish.
Is this meeting for just you and
me, sergeant?
                       SGT. COOPER
Yes! If he wanted us all he would
have said so. We better head
right over there.
I'm right behind you, Sarge.
The two men get to the operations tent as the Colonel heads
inside. They followed Colonel Davis to where the maps lay
sprawled open for them to look at.
                       SGT. COOPER
What do we have, colonel?
                       COL. DAVIS
This is where we believe their
bunker is located, but we can't be
sure. If it is, then it will be
up to you and your men to see that
those planes never get into the
air, at least not while weíre here
in Iraq, understood?
                       SGT. COOPER
Yes, sir!
What kind of aircraft do we expect
to find in this bunker, Colonel?
                       COL. DAVIS
We doubt there'd be any heavy
stuff in there, soldier. Theyíd
need a solid runway to lift off,
but they could conceal a number of
smaller fighter planes that they
could use to get under our radar,
and that could prove fatal to our


                       COL. DAVIS (cont'd)
I wonder how well it's guarded, if
it's hidden like that.
Johnny takes a closer look at the map.
                       COL. DAVIS
If it's guarded, then theyíve got
it guarded from inside, where they
can't be seen.
That would make sense. That also
means we'll have to be very
careful when we approach.
                       COL. DAVIS
You're learning very fast,
I have no intentions on going home
in a body bag, colonel, nor anyone
who's with me.
                       SGT. COOPER
When are we leaving to do this,
                       COL. DAVIS
You and your men will leave here
at twenty-hundred hours. Make
sure your men have the supplies
they need. I'm sure they used
everything they had the last
mission they were on.
                       SGT. COOPER
Yes, sir!
                       SGT. COOPER
Here are the maps. Have your men
study them and then let them get
some rest. We'll have a busy
night, soldier.
Thanks, Sarge!
Johnny takes the maps from the sergeant.


By eight o'clock, all four spotters and the demolition team
are outside operations and climb aboard a rack body truck.
                       COL. DAVIS
Sergeant! I'm sending some armed
men just in case. You'll be deep
into enemy territory, so in the
event you're truck is spotted you
have a team of sharpshooters with
you until you reach the drop area.
Good luck out there.
                       SGT. COOPER
Thank you, sir!
It's almost ten P.M. when the truck pulls to a stop.
                       DRIVER 1
Good luck, guys. We're here.
                       SGT. COOPER
I'll call you when the operation
is complete. If you don't here
from us by daybreak corporal,
somebody better get out here and
get our asses before the Iraqis
do. I don't want us to be like
sitting ducks for them to pluck
off like flies.
                       DRIVER 1
I'll see that it's done, Sergeant.
                       SGT. COOPER
Okay, guys, last stop.
The men grab their gear and step down from the truck.

The desert is desolate, as Johnny gets his bearings. A
quick look at his compass before the truck pulls away and
then he heads north-north west.


                       SGT. COOPER
Do you know where you're headed,
I know where weíre headed, yes,
but whether thereís an airport
bunker located there is another
guess, Sergeant. I got lucky the
last time, but this might be
They travel almost two miles, when Johnny stops and motions
for Sam to test the ground for sound, but only with hand

Sam lowered his right ear to the ground and listens.

As the sergeant stands there, he remains silent and watches.
When Sam stands up, he makes a fist with his right hand and
wiggles it back and forth. He then points to a location to
the north east of their present position.
In an unspoken reply, Johnny asks how far?
Once again using nothing but hand signals, Sam replies that
they are coming from about a mile away.
Johnny then motions for them all to advance behind him, and
he leads the way towards an unknown destination. They
travel almost a mile when they come to a small hill thatís
rather long. He raises his hand for everyone to stop, and
he advances alone to look it over.

There is nothing but sand, but Johnny climbs the short hill
and takes out his binoculars to get a better look. He
doesn't have to look far, because below him the sand seems
to lift up and he slides back down and out of sight. His
body tenses as he can hear the whirring of an aircraft
engine coming from within the mound under him.

The other men hear it as well, and scurry to bury themselves
in the sand. Moments later the small single-engine
aircraft, pulls out from within the confines of the bunker.
From what little light that shines from inside, Johnny can
see that in the cockpit there is a machine gun mounted in
Johnny quickly tries to cover himself in sand, so as not to
be seen by the pilot, and cautiously watches as the plane


quickly takes off in no time flat. Once itís airborne,
Johnny slides back to where the others are.
With only hand signals, he tells them what he plans. Johnny
and Sam head back to the top of the mound, above the bunker,
and wait for the next plane to deploy. Five of the ten
members of the demolition team are right behind them. Ken
and Billy stand in the background and wait.

Moments seemed like hours, when finally the same aircraft
that took off, returns to the bunker. As it lands, Johnny
and the others cover themselves with sand and wait. Once
the small plane enters the bunker, itís time for Johnny and
Sam to take over. They quickly slide down from the top of
the bunker and enter it behind the plane. Johnny is the
first to take a shot, as a guard comes around a corner and
is immediately felled to the floor by an arrow from his
crossbow. Sam is next to get a shot of and strikes another
guard as he is about to lower the door. Johnny then follows
behind the plane and as soon as he has a clear shot he lets
an arrow fly through the open pilot's window and nails the
pilot in the head. Sam quickly moves in and secures the
entrance-way, so Sergeant Dobbs and his men can get inside
Inside the bunker Johnny can see eight single engine planes,
all mounted with machine guns in front of the pilot's seat.

Sergeant Dobbs sends one man back to get the rest of the
men, while he and the other three start to set charges
inside. The rest of the crew join in, while Ken and Billy
stand guard by the entrance and both Johnny and Sam stand
guard inside the bunker.

With the charges set for fifteen minutes, Sergeant Dobbs and
his men make a quick exit, with Johnny and his warriors
right behind them.
Their legs plow deep into the desert sand, as they run as
fast as they can to get far enough away when the bunker

Within twelve minutes, the demolition team is over a mile
away, when they take a moment to rest their legs and watch
the fireworks.
                       SGT. COOPER
You guys are awesome. How in the
world did you get that damn lucky
to plop yourself on top of the
bunker you were looking for?


Just then the first of ten explosions rock the ground
underneath them and they all stand to watch. Each plane had
an M2 charge placed on it, as was the fuel tank stored
inside the bunker. A cache of machine guns also graced a
corner of the encampment, all of which were blown sky high
with the explosion.
                       SGT. COOPER
That takes care of that bunker,
soldiers. I better give the base
a call and get that truck back out
here to get us.
Sergeant Cooper reaches for his radio and keys the mike.
                       SGT. COOPER
Night Rider One, to Rider Base.
Come in, over.
                       DISPATCHER (VO)
Go ahead, Night Rider One. This
is Rider Base. Over.
                       SGT. COOPER
Mission complete! Taxi service
required for the nesters. Over!
                       DISPATCHER (VO)
Roger, Night Rider One. ETA zero
one thirty hours. Copy? Over!
                       SGT. COOPER
We copy, Rider Base. Night Rider
clear. Over and out!
Johnny taps the sergeant on the shoulder.
Something tells me they knew we
needed a ride, Sarge That truck
is too close for them to be here
in about forty-five minutes.
                       SGT. COOPER
You know, private, youíre right.
It took us almost two hours to get
out here. I better get a code
The Sergeant keys the mike once again.


                       SGT. COOPER
Night Rider One to Rider Base.
Come in please, over.
                       DISPATCHER (VO)
This is Rider Base, Night Rider
One. Go ahead. Over!
                       SGT. COOPER
Days of Wine, Rider Base. Over!
                       DISPATCHER (VO)
Clarify, Night Rider. Over!
                       SGT. COOPER
Thatís it, men. Weíve been had.
That Rider Base is not our
command. Find a safe place and
dig in. Weíre going to have some
unwanted company.
Sergeant Cooper starts digging a foxhole for himself. The
others followed suit until they were well under cover,
including the four warriors.
The sergeant shut the radio off, and silence rules the area
where the fourteen men are dug in.

They all wait, as the one-thirty time approaches. Headlights
can be seen in the distance, but instead of coming from the
south, as would be expected from their own group, the lights
come from the North and enemy territory.
                       SGT. COOPER
      (Loud Whisper)
Johnny! you guys be ready with
those crossbows, soldiers.
Johnny and the others hear him and ready their bows.
As the unknown truck nears, the men quickly take aim, not
knowing what to expect as it goes by. The truck slows to
almost a crawl, and the men aboard it speak in Iraqi tongue.

Johnny takes out one of the men in the back of the truck,
while Billy takes out the man in the passenger seat. On the
other side itís Sam, who takes aim at the driver, while Ken
readies his bow at one of the men in the back.

Simultaneously all four arrows are released and hit their
mark. The truck stops and the two remaining men on the


truck grab their rifles and shoot aimlessly into the night

Johnny and Sam reload and take their final shots at the two
Sergeants Dobbs and Cooper pull their small arms from their
holsters and run up to the cab.
                       SGT DOBBS
Itís all clear up here.
Dobbs pulls the passenger from his seat.
With all the demolition team out of their foxholes, as well
as the spotters, Johnny cautiously approaches the rear of
the truck with his crossbow at the ready.
There were only four in back,
Sarge, and theyíre all dead.
Johnny climbs in back and drops the bodies onto the ground.
How did you know the call was a
phony, Sarge?
                       SGT. COOPER
It was the reply I got. They
didnít know the code when I asked
them for it. The correct answer
to The Days of Wine, wouldíve
been, Wine and Roses.
And they asked for clarification,
which meant the radio call was
                       SGT. COOPER
Exactly! I think it best we climb
aboard this thing and get out of
here. Do you know the way back,
Yes, sir, or at least Iíll be
                       SGT. COOPER
Then get in the driverís seat and
move it!


Johnny gets into the cab while the rest of the team files
into the back. Sergeant Cooper grabs a seat beside him.
                       SGT. COOPER (cont'd)
That was a close call we had,
Iím glad theyíve set up a code
that we can recognize. Weíd have
been caught like fish out of the
water otherwise.
                       SGT. COOPER
I better cancel our ride back to
the camp. Weíve got another one
of their trucks.
Sergeant Cooper grabs the radio and keys the mike.
                       SGT. COOPER
Night Rider One to Rider base.
Days of wine. Over.
Wine and roses, Night Rider. This
is Rider base. Over!
                       SGT. COOPER
Cancel our taxi, Base, we've got
another one of theirs. Over and
Roger! Base clear!
The rest of the ride back towards the base is quiet. The
demolition team relaxes.
Itís almost four A.M. when the truck pulls into the camp and
the men disembark from the back.
                       COL. DICKINSON
I see you men brought us another
truck, Private Blackwater.


Johnny steps down from the truck and snaps to attention and
It appears theyíd rather we have
these vehicles than to save them
for themselves, Colonel.
                       COL. DICKINSON
At ease, soldier!
The Colonel turns towards Dobbs.
                       COL. DICKINSON (cont'd)
How did the operation go,
                       SGT. COOPER
If you want, Colonel, I can
dismiss my men and we can go to
brief you, sir.
                       COL. DICKINSON
Sounds like a good idea. Dismiss
your men, son.
Sergeant Cooper turns to his men, and the warriors.
                       SGT. COOPER
Men! You are dismissed. You did
a good job out there, and thanks.
Sergeant Cooper heads towards the table where Johnny and his
men are seated. He reached them!
                       SGT. COOPER
Private Blackwater! Can you spare
a minute and come with me?
Johnny takes his tray of food and dumps what little is left,
once he stands up.
Where are we going, Sarge?
                       SGT. COOPER
Colonel Davis wants to meet with
you, soldier.


Did I do anything wrong, Sergeant?
                       SGT. COOPER
Relax, soldier. This is a good
Iím glad of that. You had me
worried for a minute.
After the meeting, Johnny heads back to his tent and sees
his friends waiting for him.
What was that all about, Johnny?
Where do you want me to start? You
three are now Privates First
Class, all of you.
Are you kidding. We havenít been
in here long enough to earn
another stripe. What about you?
The colonel advanced me to
Sergeant. I skipped right over
first class.
It had to be because of what you
did out here, when we went on
those missions, right?
To the best of my knowledge,
thatís the reason why, yes. Now,
for even more good news!
You mean thereís more?


We are leaving here Friday Morning
and will be back in the good old
USA on Sunday, at Travis Air Force
Base. For us, anyway, this war is
over, or almost anyway.
You know, it will be good to get
home and see our mates. I wonder
if sheís with child.
Iím sure one of us will get that
when we get home.I know I tried
while I was home for that week.
You guys are bad. I just want her
to know that I made it home safe.
If she's with child, then Iím
happy, but if sheís not, then Iím
still happy, for I can see her and
hold her, and let her know how
much I love her.
Johnny goes inside and heads over to the Colonel and snaps
to attention.
Excuse me, Colonel!
                       COL. DICKS
Iíll be right with you, Sergeant.
A moment later he turns and faces Johnny.
                       COL. DICKS
What can I do for you, Sergeant?
I was told to report to you, sir,
and get the orders for my men.
                       COL. DICKS
Youíre the Sergeant with the
spotter team for the demolition
gang, right?


Yes, sir!
                       COL. DICKS
It looks like you and your men
will be getting split up,
Howís that, sir?
                       COL. DICKS
You and Private Greyeagle will be
heading back to Missouri. Youíve
landed a position as a teacher for
future spotters to work with
demolition teams.
Thank you, sir. What about my
other two friends?
                       COL. DICKS
Both soldiers will be heading to
the West Coast and teaching the
same thing out there.
That means weíll be stationed
permanently stateside, right
                       COL. DICKS
Thatís correct, Sergeant. Here
are the papers for your men.
Thank you, sir!
Johnny takes the papers from the Colonel, then snaps to
attention and salutes him.
                       COL. DICKS
Dismissed, sergeant!
Are those our papers?


Johnny sits down on a cot.
Iíve got our papers, guys, but
weíre going to be separated. Sam
and I are heading back to
Missouri, as teachers, and you and
Ken will be heading to the West
Coast and teaching out there.
You mean weíll be permanently
stationed stateside?
Thatís right. Here you go, Billy,
Ken, and hereís yours, Sam.
Johnny hands his friends their transfer papers.
Iíll be in San Diego.
Thatís where Iím heading too.
If Johnny already knows Iíll be
with him, then I donít have to
look right now. Iím just
wondering if our mates will meet
us when we touch down in Travis.
From what Iíve been told, Sam,
theyíve been informed of our
arrival in the states. Whether
theyíll be there to meet us is
another thing.
As Johnny talks with his men, a PRIVATE walks over to the
                       MAIL COURIER
Are you Johnny Blackwater,
Yes I am soldier. What can I do
for you?


                       MAIL COURIER
You and your men will be shipping
out in an hour. I was asked to
bring your mail, so you can have
it before you leave. Thereís one
for each of your men.
Thank you, private. That was kind
of you.
                       MAIL COURIER
Youíre welcome. Have a good trip
Johnny quickly hands the letters to his friends and is quick
to read the letter he got from Nakonay.
Hey, guys, they are all going to
be there when we touch down.
I know. Dahlia said the same
Natayet will be there too.
Yes, guys, all our mates will be
there. When do we have to head to
the plane?
We should probably head over that
way now. Weíll be early, but Iíd
rather be early than late.
One by one the four warriors get on board.
Make yourselves as comfortable as
you can, mates, this is not first


Weíve been through this before,
sir, but this time weíre heading
Good deal, son!
Almost an hour later, with every available space taken by a
soldier, the troop transport taxis the plane the short
distance to the runway. After a bouncing run the plane
lifts into the air, as it heads back towards stateside.
When the plane touches down, and taxis over to the
appropriate disembarking area, the pilot can see an
entourage of people waiting, along with an Army band
preparing to play for their returning soldiers.

Once it comes to a stop, the pilot lowers the tail section
of the plane and the soldiers start to disembark onto
American soil. Where Johnny and the others were near the
front of the plane, it takes them a while to disembark, but
their flight is over. Each man grabs his gear and as the
way opens for them, they start to leave the plane and enter
into a brisk but sunny March day.

As the first wave of soldiers leave the plane, the Army band
starts to play, adding to the drama of their return. Finally
Johnny and the other warriors step off the plane and touch
solid ground.
Itís good to be home, guys.
Johnny looks through the immense crowd, of nearly six
hundred people, for his lovely mate.
Are we ever going to see our mates
with all those people there,
Just donít stop looking. They
said theyíd be here, and knowing
our mates, theyíll do just that.


One hundred and fifty soldiers, both men and women,
disembark from the back end of the troop transport, and all
are heading for the crowd of family, friends, and
well-wishers who await them on the other side of the gate.
Johnny and the other warriors stick together.
This far away they all look the
They quicken the pace, the closer they get to the crowd.
Donít worry, Sam, our mates will
be here, and we both have special
reasons to see them.
If Kohana knows what it is, she
hasnít said anything in the last
letter to me.
Iím sure that if she knows, youíll
be the first to find out, Sam. Are
the others with us?
Weíre here, Johnny. Weíre just
looking for the ladies.
Isnít that Nakonay near the far
end of the fence, Johnny?
It sure looks like her. I wonder
where the others are?
They may be buried in the crowd,
Letís get over there. She sees
us, guys.
Thereís Dahlia!
A smile forms quickly on Billy's face.


Thereís Natayet, too.
I canít picture the three of them
being here and no Kohana.
There she is Sam, right behind
Samís face suddenly springs to life with a huge smile when
he spots Kohana.
Johnny and his friends work their way through the immense
crowd until he finally stands face to face with his mate,
who bears a small bulge in her stomach that lets him know
she is with his child.
Oh Johnny, you made it back to me.
Johnny throws his arms carefully around her and gives her a
big hug.
I told you Iíd be back in one
piece. How are you, my love?
Well, as you can see, I brought a
little of you with me when I came
here today.
I see that, my love.
Sam and the others are also embracing their mates as well,
and words are not enough. Kisses are being given freely by
all of them.
Have you girls been waiting long?
We got here about three hours ago,
and brought chairs so we could
sit, my warrior.
Nakonay grabs the chair and folds it.


How did you all get down here?
We all saved the money you guys
sent us so that we could come here
by bus, in order for us to be here
when you landed. We didnít want
you warriors to have to go home
They start to walk away from the airport.
Only Natayet is not with child.
      (Slight Laugh)
My goodness, Ken, I think you may
need to do something about that
while youíre home
The others laugh as well, including Natayet, who bears a
light flush across her face.
I want our papoose to grow up
together, my friend.
I shall see what I can do.
They reach the main gate moments later.
The four couples sit and talk about themselves while they
wait for their food.
I think it would be best, for our
ladies, to take a bus home.
I think heís right, Johnny, where
thereís only one of us girls not
with child.
Here comes our food.


The girls sit there and talk about whatís been going on
around the reservation.
Once we find out when the bus gets
to Gresham, Johnny, donít you
think it best to call the store,
so Lone Wolf can let my father
know when weíll be getting into